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Moyale to Bahir Dar.

April 24, 2013

We so looked forward to the fantastic road from Moyale to Awassa since we had had seen enough gravel road in Kenya to do us for a lifetime. Well whoever told us the road was perfect should go straight to confession, do not pass GO, do not collect R200, go straight to confession!!! The road was HORRIBLE! In fact it was made even worse by the fact that the sections that were tar were near perfect until ALL OF A SUDDEN you get completely caught out by either a massive crater or series of nasty unavoidable and deep potholes. Also about 130 kilometres of gravel adjacent to the road that is being newly constructed.

So the 700 odd kilos to Awassa was expected to be easy but it turned out to be extremely challenging. Add to this the incessantly irritating ‘you, you, you’ being shouted at you by a massive portion of the Ethiopian 78 million population who seemed to all be walking the road on that particular day! It was so bad that we at one stage needed to stop in the country for a quick body break but could find absolutely no stretch of road without people for hundreds of Kilometres, I kid you not!

So our bladders took strain and our ears took strain but our little Hillman Imp chugged merrily onwards and upwards. In fact quite a way upwards and some of the climbs took us to close to 3,000 metres above sea-level.   

We took two days in Addis Ababa to carry out some repairs to our Imp, in particular the roof rack needed welding and in this regard we found the most wonderful craftsman who could not oblige with welding as the whole town was without power so he went ahead and braised the roof rack back together. So with no possibility to have our car’s alignment done (post replacing the steering rack) due to powerless state of Addis we called our repair work a day and headed back to our wonderful accommodation at the Baro Pension and did some spanner checks by ourselves to ready the car for the onward journey. Early in the morning we split Addis and took on the challenge of getting to Bahir Dar. But this will be very easy we surmised, it is only 500 odd kms. Well the uphills and downhills saw us oscillating between 2, 000 metres to nearly 4,000 above sea-level. In fact to cross the Nile valley you have to decent a full 2, 000 meters and climb back up the very same amount over a very short stretch of only 30 kilometres . we arrived at our campsite at 23h00 in the evening, it was a very long day!

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