July 16, 2024

Beautiful road North of Addis

Our second night at Wim’s was a bit better, but the flea bites still had me up a large part of the night. Luckily the power and water was on, so we had a hot shower and cooked frankfurters for breakfast. After packing the mules we went searching for a working ATM, which we found easily enough after trying three. We then filled up Tania?s bike (mine we did the day before) and headed out of town. Addis is HUGE and there is a lot of development. New buildings are constructed (using cut trees as scaffolding) and the main road towards Lalibela is not on Tracks4Africa yet. We thus had to drive ?off road? on a new six lane tarmac road. Luckily the people in the city drive better than anywhere else we?ve experienced, but there are some mad intersections, where sometimes seven lanes each way (i.e. 14 lanes in total), meet without a traffic light. You just wait until somehow it?s time to go. Sometimes all four directions meet to create a deadlock. Then there?s reversing and confusion until the plug is out.

It was unfortunately impossible to film this, but here is a pic of the countryside. Most of the roads are brand new and there are still not nearly as many people as I imagined from the descriptions of others. We stopped here for a quick break and saw no one else.

1 langs pad
The rest of the way towards Debre Sina had us climbing up to an altitude of more than 3 100m. The Motomia’s didn?t struggle nearly as much as I thought they might and our speed was mostly governed by the curved in the road and the people and animals, not the bikes being out of breath. At some stage we passed through Mussolini?s tunnel and I suddenly felt as if we might as well have been riding somewhere in Europe: Beautiful tarmac, riding on the wrong (right) side of road and empty field everywhere. If it weren?t for the kids and camels on the road around every tenth corner (not every 2nd or 3rd as I assumed it would be) this would have been the perfect road for a superbike.

We reached the small town of Debre Sina at around 15h00 and stopped at the Tinsae Hotel. Tania had this one place?s name from a guide book, but as soon as we stopped we were swarmed by people. An old lady started touching everything on my bike, looking for something she likes. Without even greeting us first. Then she started asking for money. It was frustrating and heart breaking at the same time. We decided to have a coffee across the street to decide what to do in peace.

2 coffee

Afterwards we rode through town (about 500m) and turned back to the only hotel in town. We attracted the same big crowd and a small boy asked if we want a bed. No English. I said we?re fine (mistrusting him) and headed in through the restaurant to try and shake him. He found me again and said: ?No, this way!? I followed him and watched the hotel manager and two ladies look for keys to room 208 in a big pile of keys. Then two friendly guys and the small boy helped us with our luggage without asking for anything. I quickly started to get a liking in the kid as he was so enthusiastic to help us. He then showed us to a gated premises down the street where we left the bikes for the night.

We spent the afternoon reading and writing and had a lovely supper of spaghetti and other unidentifiable (but enjoyable) stuff. Again it was amazing how cheap everything is. The room was less than R50 and the supper less than R30 (including a beer and a coke).

I am not going to say too much about the room, but it was a shocker!!!

3 room
It doesn’t look too bad at first, but the toilet stinks worse than an open drain and the geyser drips in the toilet, so you can’t sit down. The mattress is rather tattered, but the walls are the worst. I don’t even want to think what it was that they haven’t washed off it for what must be years:

4 eeeke

4 thoughts on “Beautiful road North of Addis

  1. Mmmm miskien is DIT Afrika. Dit laat ‘n mens dink wat ons het nê? Dit klink as dinge het in die laaste derde deel van Afrika drasties verander het – “afwaarts”. Hoop julle tref dit baie beter voorkant toe. Pas jul self goed op.

  2. ‘Shame’! man, jammer oor daai hotelkamer! Maar, daar is altyd iets om oor dankbaar te wees, mooi teerpaaie, natuurskoon, lekker kos, ens. En kan julle dink hoe opgewonde was daai outjie toe hy vir sy ma-hulle en maatjies vertel het van die twee vreemdes wesens wat hy die dag gehelp het. Die fizzers was seker bietjie te ver weggepak om vir hom een te gee. Ek hou duim vas vir ‘n beter bed en ‘to let’ vorentoe!! XX

  3. Al wat ek oor die hotel kan se is eish! Dalk moet mens lanks die pad kamp maar dan het jy nie al Villie se luxuries by jou op die baaik nie….Hoop die vlooibyte jeuk nie meer someer nie. Luvv. V1x

  4. “According to a traffic study released Tuesday by the SHA, the time it takes to travel up Rockville Pike near the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has stretched to about one and a half times longer than before the hospital was expanded two months ago.”
    •Women finds her stolen bike on craigslist and asks for a test ride. Then she rode it to her car and drove away with it. See video below. And another bike theft victim recovers their bike with help from PoP.

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