The ride to Addis would take two days , a whole lot of traffic mixed with roads and rain to the city that is wrapped in mountains . As I came into Addis the GPS decided to develop a route calculation error , so I had to rely on the old fashion way of doing things , stop ask , go , stop ask , go and so we found our way to the Jupiter hotel on Bole road . In a quieter part of the city . This was to be the first time on the trip that I had a key card to access the room , an in room coffee making facility and numerous other luxuries that one takes for granted . Unpacked and settled I met up with Birhanu for some coffee , just an amazing guy who I had been introduced to by friends of my parents . We had been chatting on the phone and email , he had been so helpful and checked in daily on my progress and helped me plan my route through Ethiopia , so it was a total treat to finally meet face to face and have a catch up .
So Addis provided a change of pace , a great hotel an opportunity to give Victoria a check over as well as time to hang out with Birhanu , learn a whole lot more about Ethiopia and get a locals take on his city , what a great couple of days. Thank you Birhanu for all your time , effort , hospitality and help my time in Ethiopia was far richer for it .
So after time off the scooter in Addis , it was time to make my way north towards the Sudan . I had been very lucky with the rain on the journey so far , only having to get the rain gear out for my visit to the Victoria falls and I think on one other occasion , but I had arrived in Ethiopia in the wet season and the August rains had arrived . The riding was to get much slower and more difficult . We left Addis in the morning mist , with the GPS still acting up so our exit took much longer than anticipated , getting very lost and passing the same landmarks time and time again . Finally we rode up and out and found the road that would take us to Debre Markos .
The ride is beautiful and you are surrounded by magnificent rich farm land with valleys , mountains and views that hit you with the power of a WWF wrestler , no words can prepare you for the beauty you find on this ride . The initial part of the day was spent riding to higher and higher altitude , then as you crest , before you Ethiopia in all her green and glory opens up , your eyes pop wide open and she leaves you visually knocked clean out .
The road down to the bridge at the bottom of valley and out of the valley for that matter , is in very bad condition from all the trucks , so between that and the hundreds of baboons on the road waiting for the busses to pass , to get the food thrown at them by the passengers , the very sharp turns and curves , the ride was slow to say the least.
The ride up and out , took me to a coffee shop for two stiff ones and a breather after negotiating the down , the up road , the numerous pedestrians and rolling livestock . Feeling brand new we rode once again . Due to all the rain some of the roads had been washed out and Victoria was about to get exposed to a lot more than we had bargained for . We came to a part of the road that had been turned into a mud and sludge bath with trucks , busses and cars all trying to find a way through . I pulled to the side thinking I might find some willing helpers to carry Vic across , for the first time in Ethiopia not one person surrounded us once I had pulled to the side . I observed the cars and found a part that looked shallow and ride able . Deep breath , off we set only to get pushed off our high ground by a bus and the next thing I knew we had lost it and in we went , from riding to wading . We got through it , Vic sounded fine so we headed for town .
From the wash it was back to the hotel , out with the screwdriver off with the filter on the transmission casing to check if any muddy water had got in , all seemed fine , so finally off to shower . Almost two hours later while trying three different rooms , all the while clad in towel only did the hotel finally get a shower working for me , Ahhhhh the warm water washes the days woes away and I feel the sense of normalcy return to skin and mind .
Dinner and off to bed , tomorrow we ride for Bahir Dar on Lake Tana , the biggest in Ethiopia.
Until we meet again.