We left Debra Markos, Sunday morning the 17th, hoping to be in Addis Ababa later that afternoon, well didn’t really go as planned.
On the way there, once again beautiful scenery, some dodgy roads and lots of people. It still amazes me how quickly people appear out of nowhere when you stop next to the road.
Scenery on the way to Addis
We went up a mountain and down again over the Blue Nile Gorge, on the second ascend up the mountains we went over a rocky gravel track, Delilah following shortly behind Lindsay meant she couldn’t accelerate out of trouble hence coming off … not too bad though, just a slow fall. Andrey (http://www.andreymoto.com the russian travelling with us on a R1200GSA) also came off twice on this gravel road … no one seriously injured though.
On the old Blue Nile Gorge bridge. New one behind.
The gravel track in the background where Andrey and Delilah came off
By this time Pete’s Land Rover started overheating … this went on for at least a few kilometres. After one petrol station, Lindsay said that I should go ahead while they still waited to fill up the bikes. I left, rode for about 50km thinking they are still behind somewhere, stopped, waited for a while and then I received a phone call from Lindsay telling me the Landy has finally given up completely.
I had a choice to go back 50km or go another 89km to Addis Ababa. I decided to carry on to Addis on my own.
Once I arrived in Addis, the sun quickly set and soon it was dark. I pointed the GPS to the Hilton Hotel (yeah I know … took a chance) and they wanted 400 USD per night, unbelievable. My mobile phone also stopped working, so I couldn’t get in touch with Lindsay or the others. I left the Hilton and the road quickly turned to nothing and no lights, am I heading out of the city ? I turned around and pulled into the first hotel I saw, the Jupiter Hotel International, 100 USD per night … well what could I do, I paid up and stayed a night in luxury 🙂
Pete has a satellite phone, so I could send him a message via a website as soon as I settled in the hotel which had free wifi. He had to be put on a truck and was driven to Wims Holland House in Addis. Lindsay also have not had much luck, he suffered a blow out on his front tyre 25km before Addis and also had to be put on a truck.
Next morning I checked out and headed for Wims Holland House (http://www.wimshollandhouseaddis.nl/) myself. What a nice place, beer on tap, again, very nice food and excellent hosts. It is run my Wim (dutch guy) and his Ethiopian wife, Rahal (I think). They have a very nice setup and even gave me an old used front tyre that a previous overlander left behind to replace the badly worn front tyre I have, luckily no blow out for me … but it was close.
Wims Holland House, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
My badly worn tyre and the used tyre Wim has given me
New and used tyres fitted this morning …
This morning, after breakfast, I replaced my back tyre with a brand new TKC80 which Pete has very generously carried for me in the Landy since Egypt. I also fitted the used front tyre Wim has given me which will hopefully last me until Nairobi, Kenya where I should be able to find a new one.
Robert and Clary cleaning their truck
We also met a dutch couple, Robert and Clary (http://doubledutchworldsafari.com), living in Australia travelling around the world in about 7 years .. amazing. They also have an amazing truck, from microwave, toilet, bbq, shower, fridge/freezer all inside the truck … brilliant.
We have been in Ethiopia far too long and I am a little concerned that I will not make South Africa on time … I surely hope so. At least Wims Holland House is very nice and is a very enjoyable stay. Still waiting for Pete’s Land Rover to be fixed and then hopefully we will head off the Kenya very soon.