Received wisdom states that the further you get from Addis, the more likely you are to encounter groups of kids chucking rocks at you as you pass. I'm pottering through a village a hundred miles south of Addis when a blanket-clad oaf runs out in front of me, picks up a lump of donkey crap and lobs it feebly at my shoulder. It bounces harmlessly off my armoured jacket. I slow down in order to laugh at him. He looks sheepish; the crowd begin to snigger. I offer him the middle digit of my right hand and scoot.
Lake Awassa is as pretty as a picture.* I'm told there are hippos nestling within, but they've gone to the shops or something when I get there. A dirt road takes me to the local dump, however, where I see vultures and Marabou storks.
Having seen no other motorbike people for weeks, Addis was suddenly thronged with 'em.
Are we cool? Or are we a bit gay?
Matt from Sydney (KTM 640), off to London. Alan and Martin from Marlow, UK, RTW on Ewan Mc-inspired BMW's. Er, me & Doug.
I really really love my bike. The worst thing that's gone wrong with it after 10,000 African miles is that one brake pad fell off.
12/7/05, Moyale, Ethiopia/Kenya border.
A 300 mile thump through some stunning Highland landscapes. Every time I stop I'm surrounded by gawpers.
One young fella has clearly never seen a glove before. He freaks out quite badly when I take it off. Having recovered from my initial reaction of head-back guffawing and pointing, I begin to wave it at him and make menacing noises. He freaks again, I laugh, his peers laugh, and eventually he laughs as well. But I can still see the fear in his eyes. Ha!
They're throwing themselves into the road
Knackered - early to bed. Unfortunately the bed has thorns in it. Ooyah.
*To a person of average aesthetic sensitivity, Lake Awassa would in fact be considered prettier than, for example;
a/ An oil painting of a dustbin
b/ A chiaroscuro rendering of a pig's scrotum
c/ A photograph of Charles Kennedy.
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