Posts Tagged ‘Wims Holland House’

I haven’t been blogging for a while as it wasn’t so easy to find internet connection since leaving Wims House in Addis.

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All of us with Wim and his wife Raheel at Wims Holland House in Addis Ababa

Back: Aisha, Pete, Wim, Raheel, Andrey .. and me

Front: Lindsay and Delilah

Since Wims Holland House (soon after the picture above), Aisha left us back to the UK and then New York for work commitments .. so she is no longer on the trip, but we have met two new friends at Holland House, two kiwis on bicycles who asked Pete for a lift to Isiolo … so they will join us for the next few days.

Well, Pete’s Land Rover got fixed eventually and while at the shop to get fixed and italian/ethiopian guy approaced asking if we need motorcycle tyres. I am sure our frantic search for motorcycles tyres made the rounds between the local KTM riders in town and he had a barely used front TKC80 for me for a price of 80 EUR which I grabbed up … really difficult to find tyres in this country.

Tyres fitted, Land Rover fixed, we headed out of Addis in some of the worse traffic ever, but soon out of the city it turned to a lovely ride. We made some good miles and around 3pm I guess we started looking for a place to camp early around Lake Langano in Ethiopia. The first place we stopped was very nice, like an African Safari Lodge, but obviously with prices to match and no camping allowed, so that didn’t work for us.

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Road just outside Addis Ababa

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Pete and the Landy in the background (with the kiwis bicycles on the roof)

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Bikes at the “pricey” Safari Lodge

We thought we would at least get some lunch or beers, but then we met a really nice couple, British and German (Tony and Gina) with their little boy, Connor. They have lived in Ethiopia for just over a year, we all had burgers and some beers … which they have very generously paid for and to top it off, they even insisted we come back to their house on the lake for the night … how cool is that !

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Us enjoying a beer with Gina and Tony (left)

We left the next morning heading for the Kenyan border town Moyale. On the way, we rode through a town called Awasa, where we made a pit stop at the Time Cafe … yes for some more burgers 🙂

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Time Cafe, Awasa, Ethiopia

We reached Moyale around midday today and with the border customs (to get our carnets stamped) being closed, we have to sleep over to do the border early tomorrow morning and then to tackle the dreaded Moyale – Marsabit – Isiolo road … the worse road in Africa, they say … wish me luck !

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Roads on the way to Moyale, Ethiopia

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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.

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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 ( the russian travelling with us on a R1200GSA) also came off twice on this gravel road … no one seriously injured though.

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On the old Blue Nile Gorge bridge. New one behind.

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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 ( 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.

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Wims Holland House, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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My badly worn tyre and the used tyre Wim has given me

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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.

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Robert and Clary cleaning their truck

We also met a dutch couple, Robert and Clary (, 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.