Ethiopian road conditions- and more
This post is from Khartoum. The road from Moyale to Addis is paved and in very good condition. From Addis to Debre Merkos there are a few areas that will slow you down, including the descent into a canyon along the way. The canyon road is unpaved and has a few rough sections- it's hot down there. It took 1.5 hours to cross it. From Bahir Dar to Gonder the road is paved and in very good condition. From Gonder to Metema the road is gravel and hard-packed dirt. 40-70kph is doable here. IMPORTANT!: most of your paperwork will be taken care of at Metema, however, your carnet must be stamped in Shehendi. If you fail to do this you will have to ride the 40kms back to Shehendi to get the stamp (luckily this didn't happen to me). One more thing: I rode from Gonder to Khartoum over a 2 day period on May 2/3. The high temps really punished me, and I was just getting over a chest cold. The temperature rose above 45C both days- in Dongola the temps are already above 50C. I arrived in my hotel each night with a headache, feeling sick to my stomach and having to force myself to eat. Try to find a lightweight thermos to carry cool water. Bottles of water I purchased along the way became too hot to drink after several hours. Every 70-80kms on the road to Khartoum there are open faced thatched huts offering 2 things you won't find anywhere else along the way: 1) shade 2) cool bottles of mineral water. I stopped at virtually every one of these places to remove my jacket/helmet and let the sweat evaporate as I sipped on the cool water. Despite this, I still got dehydrated. For those of you crossing Sudan in July, take great care!