Addis Abeba was the first big city we saw after leaving Khartoum. The thousands of peoples, cars, minibuses, tuktuks, bicycles and animals just merge together in a big humming something. I think they still call it traffic. It’s like driving in Istanbul just double the amount of vehicles, throw in some animals, destroy some roads and remove the last traffic rules there are… but again after a while you get used to it and it works just fine. The first nights we spent at Wim’s Holland house. Topher and I had to get the visa for Kenia and an extension of our Ethiopian visa. It expires on the 30th what would be ok, but we wanted to have some extra time, if something should go wrong. So we got that done and another very important thing. We got our first hair cut since we left 🙂 For dinner we went to a small restaurant called African queen. The restaurant is run by an ethiopian lady who lived for over 30 years in Freiburg and learned cooking there. Unfortunately they couldn’t make the Sauerbrauten, which is on the menu, but we got some very good food and some Spätzle 🙂 It was a very nice time at Wim’s and we met a lot of interesting peoples and learned some good advices and stories. We got in contact with Seid because my luggage system was broken … again and needed to be welded. Seid, an overlander himself, is a very friendly guy and known for helping and supporting overlanders that come nearby Addis. We moved over to Seid’s place and he offered us to help us with some maintenance on the bikes. So we changed the oil, cleaned my carbonator, got the welding done and wanted to change the spark plugs on my bike. That worked fine with the first one, but the second came in wrong and messed up the thread… A broken spark plug thread could definitely be the end of your journey. The next morning a friend of Seid with more experience came over and with him we got the spark plug in, slowly forcing it in and out, bit for bit. It worked and I really hope it lasts till I am home again 😉 We headed on and had a look at the stele in Tyia, before we found a small hotel a little further down the road. Today was a big ethiopian holyday, the day of the cross. At night everywhere small bundles of bush where set on fire. We took a walk around and it was just a beautiful atmosphere. Our next stop was the paradise lodge in Arba Minch and yes it’s like a small paradise 🙂 From the bar you have a gigantic view over the Nechisar national park, the lake Abaya and the lake Chamo.
The food was also really good and we could spent some time at the pool. We took the bikes and visited the local crocodile farm. Here they breed Nile crocodiles for their skin and you can see them in different ages and sizes. After two nights the paradise time was done and we were on the way to Moyale, to cross the border to Kenia and to take the so called hell road to Marsabit. The last 50 km to Moyale coming from Mega, where we spent the night, were already quite tough because there were constructions everywhere. So every 500 m there is a diversion from the tar mark which consist mainly of sand. Very very soft and light red sand that behaves more like a fluid than something solid. It took us awhile to master this part of the track, but I think with a smaller bike and without luggage it can be a lot of fun. Roter Sand from David on Vimeo. Road Closed from David on Vimeo. The border crossing was no problem and we were on the hell road. The first 70 km were as promised tough. A mixture of loose gravel, sand, wash board, pot holes and stones was demanding a lot from the bikes and from us. But we made it without any loss ;). Then out of nowhere it came … tar mark, for the next 50 km. The road was in a perfect condition and we just blasted over it. Tonight’s accommodation was bush camping at a nice remote place near the road. On the way through the bush Topher unfortunately hit a tree stump with his left side case. The case got deformed and tore up at the bottom, but we managed to bend it back to a certain level and closed the gap with tape. That should work till we find a better place to work on it. The rest of the Moyale road was a short run on gravel and 100 km tar mark all the way to Marsabit. Seems like this hell is slowly freezing in. So in the end we were glad about all the tar mark but also a bit disappointed. At least we got a taste of what it used to be 😉