Short Ride Today
Following a night of thunder, lightning and torrential downpours (this was not supposed to happen until Tanzania???) the riders headed off for a straightforward and short ride today bringing us closer to the thriving metropolis that is called Addis Ababa. The opinion is unanaimous amongst riders that Jack’s description and use of the term “rolling hills” differs greatly to theirs so they shake their heads and smile wryly when he says things like “just a couple of rolling hills before lunch” (which can be translated into a couple of mountain passes!). As the roads become busier and towns closer together, a few of the riders have discovered great tea and coffee stops (both delicious) where the owners will run and get you doughnuts and samosas to go with it all and before you know it, half the town is crowded into a tiny “cafe” trying to get their picture taken and checking us out. (we are good for local businesses). Children continue to line the streets and roads and their excitement is contagious as are their beautiful big smiles and once over their shyness they are fun to be around and enjoy small games and talking with you. On many occasions they have run next to riders from the bottom to the tops of some of the hills trying to talk you while you struggle to answer, tired and out of breath. Our Ethiopian support crew made of Wondey (who will be with us until Cape Town) plus Mamushe and Addis (who are riding until the border) are a great help in translating for us and chasing up little things that crop up and on the longer days their van is a shining light as a refreshment stop serving fast fuel, water, fruit and energy bars. Tonight we are in the little hillside town of Debre Lebanos at a campsite where space is scarce, rooms have been taken already, washrooms are an adventure, the showers (although good) are cold and as it sits on a hill flat ground is a rarity to be shared with dogs, cats, goats and chickens.