Thursday, 30 January 2014

One down, seven to go!

After having crossed the Sudanese desert, we have arrived in Ethiopia. We are camping on the grounds of a hotel in the hills just outside town, for the first time during this trip we have hot showers! And a pool with a view actually, it nearly feels like a holiday.

The desert crossing was very much to my bike's liking; loose sand, lots of it! Together with navigational challenges, heat, dust and a complete lack of facilities, it was quite an adventure. Unfortunately my body did not agree with my bike, and I had to adjust my pace. But who knows when the skill of vomiting off a bike seat (no stopping and only hitting my shoe) comes in handy. The wounds are healing fine, stitches have been removed. In spite of these difficulties, I have done good business in the classification, I have won the first section (Pyramids of Nubia, nearly 2000 km) overall (both men and women). I bet I am in for some revenge by the boys....

In spite of the national hobby of Ethiopian kids of throwing stones at tourists, Ethiopia is great! What a change it was to cross the border; suddenly there were women on the streets, people smiling, colours, trees and hills, beer adverts... after nearly three weeks in an alcohol free country, it was quite nice to drink a first cold beer after the ride! A well deserved beer it was, after a 100 km ride with over 2500 m of climbing.

Now we enjoy two rest days in Gondar, which will be well spend; laundry, cleaning the bike, shopping (finding toilet paper can be quite a challenge), and sight seeing. Definitely looking forward to that! The day after tomorrow, we will continue our way to Axum (rough roads and lots of climbing!).

One of the fellow cyclists is keeping a blog with a lot of pictures, please take a look at if you want to see more!