Moyale to Addis
23.07.2011 - 26.07.2011 23 °C
I am finally up to date!
We left very early in the morning and drove to Moyale, the town on the Ethiopian border. It took several hours at the border to get stamped into Ethiopia and, once clear, we headed into town to get some coffee. Ethiopian coffee is said to be the best in the world and, from my experience so far, I'd agree. I had a shot of the strongest coffee I've ever tasted - it was like taking a mouthful of the 80% Stroh Falcon bought in Namibia, but the flavours were incredible. We were all wired that morning on the truck.
If you don't want to walk your camels, pack them into a truck!
The roads in Ethiopia were a thousand times better than the ones in northern Kenya; tar sealed and so smooth. Bliss; it was possible to read again.
Termite mounds everywhere.
We camped off the road in a quarry. A few guys came up to meet us and explained that they were engineers working on the roads, and that they would be delighted to let us camp there.
Andi and Grant (trip leader and driver), with their new friend.
The guys stayed around all night, chatting to us and making sure we were ok. In the morning we gave them a lift to the next town.
Ethiopia has one of the highest populations in Africa (and is the most populous landlocked country in the world) - there are people everywhere! Quite a contrast compared to northern Kenya, where we'd seen very few people. Wherever we stop, within seconds a group gathers around the truck; you can see them running.
The people in Ethiopia are some of the friendliest we've come across. A mixture of Arab and black African, the women are stunning too .
Delicious avocado, mango and pineapple smoothie, with fresh lime juice, in a town we stopped in for lunch. Because there are hardly any places to stop on the side of the road, making truck lunches virtually impossible, Andi has been giving us money to buy our own local food.
As we got further north, and higher in elevation, it got colder and wetter. Lush greenery replaced dry desert. We were planning to camp fairly near to the capital, Addis Ababa, however, the logging roads leading to suitable bush camps had all been washed out. It's hard to believe that there is one of the worst draughts in history happening only a few hundred kilometres away. As camping was off, we had to stay in a hotel, which we later discovered was a brothel. Still, no other option.
From here, we drove to Addis Ababa. The third highest capital city in the world, at 2350 metres, it's pretty cold, especially at night. Today I went out for lunch and, when we were in the cafe, the heavens opened and there was a loud thunder storm. Perfect weather for sitting inside, drinking coffee. Lots of it.
Heather's (30th) Birthday today - we're all going out for a meal tonight and then it's sampling Addis' bar/club scene. Should be fun!