August 12, 2005 GMT
Stink Of The Dump.

11/7/05, Awassa

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.


lakeawasa.JPG
A picture

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.

marabou.JPG

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Having seen no other motorbike people for weeks, Addis was suddenly thronged with 'em.

bikesaddis.JPG
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.
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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.

crowdethiop.JPG
"Gawp"

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!

crowdethioouttheway.JPG
They're throwing themselves into the road
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Knackered - early to bed. Unfortunately the bed has thorns in it. Ooyah.
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*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.

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at August 12, 2005 01:55 PM GMT
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