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 .

 

Victoria back for a check up.

Victoria back for a check up.

 

Transmission cleaning.

Transmission cleaning.

 

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 .

 

Morning mist . Addis below .

Morning mist . Addis below .

 

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 rich green lands of agricultural Ethiopia.

The rich green lands of agricultural Ethiopia.

 

Phew.

Phew.

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 road down.

The road down.

 

DSCN4931

 

Little Vic , big mountain.

Little Vic , big mountain.

Finally the bottom and the bridge .

Finally the bottom and the bridge .

 

From where I had come.

From where I had come.

 

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 .

 

These roads , these damn roads .

These roads , these damn roads .

 

Vic did not sign up for this.

Vic did not sign up for this.

 

Back at the car wash.

Back at the car wash.

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 .

 

Hoterl View in Debre Markos.

Hoterl View in Debre Markos.

 

Dinner and off to bed , tomorrow we ride for Bahir Dar on Lake Tana , the biggest in Ethiopia.

Until we meet again.

 

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