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Offline michnus

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yeeha! Welcome back Mich!

+1000

thanks boys.  :thumleft:

Got so much to tell and show on the new travels but it will come.  ;)

Offline michnus

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Many roads are powder puff stuff and it get into everything.

The lower south-West Omo region of Ethiopia exhibits much the same fauna and flora as the bushveld in South Africa. Lush thorn trees overgrown bush runs kilometres over hills and through valleys.

Its home to the Omo tribes and Hummer people. We decided against visiting them, tourism have long time ago turned this into a play act as Linda described in her post.


Another day another puncture. At least it was the front tyre and we got going in 5min. Fixing punctures in 40′ heat is no fun. This is where we realised the Heidie's start to tear once they have a puncture hole.

This after all the excitement, we were relaxing sipping on fresh squeezed lemon and mango fruit juice on the veranda of the hotel overlooking Arba Minch, lake Abya and Lake Chamo.

Hotel rates in Ethiopia are so low we can stay for less than camp, its on average R100 for a room. In any case, we had to book into a hotel to wash our clothes. Still full of mud and sand from crossing into Ethiopia and by now the sand stuck in our pants were busy rubbing the skin off our kneecaps.



The service in the hotel is great and the food quite tasty. We just could not get enough of the coffee. Both of us are coffee addicts and Ethiopia is where coffee started hundreds of years ago. Coffee cost R2.5 a cup, it is an espresso style with sugar but not as bitter as Italian coffee.




Road side bar. It's a very welcome oasis after 45degree heat through the Omo valley. Beers and cold water!!!


Faark I love this!!  :ricky: :biggrin:

Fruit juice are fresh here, not the water downed stuff we get in South Africa. Fruits are freshly squeeze, nothing else added, you can even get an Avocado drink, well you have to eat it, as it is not drinkable.


Abar Minch the town next to the lakes.

We had to stay over another day in Arba Minch due to the fuel shortage while the friendly WesternUnion bank official drove around trying to beg some petrol for us at black market vendors and filling stations. All the small Tuk-Tuk taxiís use petrol and since there is a shortage tourist are ripped for all they have.


What's better than a beer? Nothing!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:51:28 am by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Hotel Abar Minch. Good food, and water to wash our really dirty riding clothes for the first time in more than a week, after the muddy river crossings.


Late afternoon drinks on the terrace over looking the lakes

We got a sms from Martijn and Wibien with their 1972 VW they made it to Addis, and also StGeorge offer us his blessings for cold beers. It was wonderful news to know they made it to Addis with the VW. While we went the Turkana route, they had to follow the same route as Harold and Linda and do the 280km Marsabit dirt road.


The place Ewan and Charlie stayed when rushing through Etiopia. We found that out late the evening when the owner came past to ask about our trip. Luck that we had to pull into the place they also stayed


Our first coffee ceremony, itís tradition in Ethiopia and you must have popcorn with the coffee

This was a serious concern for the two with the old VW. I tried to convince Martijn to go for it, just take it slow, other non 4◊4 vehicles have been traveling that road and made it without damage. Going slow with a car is the way to get to the other side.




Fruit juice in ethiopia is the real deal. No water added, just real fruit juice freshly squeezed. It's thick and Mango and Avo must be eaten with a spoon.

In Isiolo in Kenya he commandeered a truck to take the VW to Marsabit. Not 5min on the road and Martijn and Wibien ordered the man to turn around and offload the VW. The truck operators tied the car on the back of the truck with thin nylon rope and in such a way that would have damaged the VW without doubt.

They soldiered on and got to Marsabit late the afternoon, VW in one piece and their nerves shot, but they made it!

The road up to Addis is in the process of a rebuilt by Chinese contractors and in very bad shape. We made it to Lake Langano and pulled into an Eco lodge that was recommend to us by other bikers. As I was tracking the spirits of Ewan and Charley since Malawi, it was rumoured they also stayed over at this lodge on their Longway down expedition.


Most Ethiopians are dirt poor. A persons perception of poor change when seeing this level of commitment to make a living.

We definitely felt a very strong presence of their spirits, my neck hair stood up, it might have been because it is such an expensive place and not your average travellers hang out. This time we had no feeling of our skills levels increasing, only the size of the wallet reduced. In any case, their spirits did nothing for our riding ability.

Itís dry in Ethiopia and all the roads turn to a fine dust powder. Dusty reddish face and dry mouth with a sticky tongue for the one riding at the back.



With the spirit and all we rode into Addis at Wimís Holland house. The old Dutch man with the lovely young Ethiopian wife and only place to stay when in Addis. Martijn and Wibien brought their VW over and Andrew and Tina with their two daughters came to stay there.



Wim's Holland House and time for many beers and time to relax and kick the shoes off.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 01:07:16 pm by michnus »
 

Offline J-dog

pics of the eth wif plse  >:D
 

Offline michnus

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The wife? Where my wifes belong?

 :peepwall:  :pot:




 :biggrin:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 01:16:41 pm by michnus »
 

Offline ianb

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Hey Michnus keep up the RR we have missed you,All the best. :thumleft:
 

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Offline GSLaaitie

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Jis, ek's bly jy's terug om weer vir ons aan jou rr te kan werk! Dit hou my gemotiveerd! Moerse dankie :thumleft:
Beer isn't the answer. It's the question. The answer, is Yes!

True story
 

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Lekker lekker   :thumleft:  :thumleft:

 

Offline michnus

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Re: Hello Africa tell me how you doing? The Addis affair.
« Reply #349 on: April 07, 2013, 06:49:50 pm »
Back to the future! A short piece on the quirky city Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian calendar, is called Geíez calendar. In short it means the entire world is in 2011 and they are in 2004. Ethiopian_calendar

Addis the capital of Ethiopia is a quirky, eccentric, art Deco and seriously vibrant city. People play, wine and dine at night in the brightly lit centre of town where row upon row of restaurants and shops flow out onto the packed streets.


The food is hot! It's like eating lava, only coke beer mix work to quench the heat. The cost of this toxic Indian hell hot meal for 4 was only around R20

Even weirder,Ē some Ethiopians use a 12-hour clock, with one cycle of 1 to 12 from dawn to dusk, and the other cycle from dusk to dawn. Unlike the convention in most countries, the start of the day is dawn, rather than midnight. Thus, 7:00 AM in East Africa Time corresponds to 1:00 in daylight hours in local Ethiopian time. 12:00 noon EAT is 6:00 in daylight hours, and 6:00 PM EAT is 12:00 in local timeĒ

Got confusing at times when they told us to come back 5íclock the bank will open then.source: Time_in_Ethiopia


Keep evil spirits away, and prey the 40 year old Lada will one more day as taxi.

My opinion has always been that African cities are best-missed, rural people and small towns are where you will experience and get the feel for the countries people. City people all over the world tend to evolve in the same lines and end up showing the same traits.

Most African cities are a no mercy, blood, sweat and tears fiend where the average person grind away trying to make a living. Not much is on offer other than basic products.


Addis has an equal number of coffee shops and inhabitants. It is mostly a colourful affair.

Addis on the other hand is in a different universe. Moreover, it is because of this reason I felt the need to write something about this charismatic city that's a bit on the exotic side of life.

In all we had the pleasure of spending nearly 2 weeks in Addis. Not out of will, bikes had to be repaired and other silly stuff.


Health and safety pfffft, what health and safety?!

Walking around Addis you can be forgiven for thinking you are back in the 1970ís. Old Lada taxis rush around like crackbrained zombies, most are rust buckets and barely drivable.

Nothing works, taxi drivers do not use indicators as they donít work, no lights and bellowing smoke while they race each other at 50km/h with colourful Rosaries and other amulets swinging around the rear view mirror doing their damdest to protect the drivers.

Not much show of road rage there is a sort of organized chaos as taxis, buses and cars jockey for space in the spaghetti-confused streets. In all Addis function with the 3milj odd inhabitants, or as the locals say, all is well in Abyssinia. Bear in mind thereís 87 odd million people in Ethiopia.


Expad area new town with it's funny buildings

As the property boom swept across the world, the wagon also passed Ethiopia, today the skeletons of unfinished projects litter the city since they were the last to get onto the bandwagon.

One blessing, Addis is a big happening place and at some stage in the future these buildings will be filled with the chatter of hopeful Ethiopian workers. Currently the Chinese are the winners from supplying the fittings and materials for the building industry.






« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 08:29:30 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Itís the old meet the new, most old buildings and shops have this art deco fittings and style to them, itís wonderful, we get lost in time. Many new buildings are glass houses and does not seem to really fit into the Addis vibe.


RED TERROR  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Terror_(Ethiopia)


Open air restaurant behind The Lion of Judah statue, people hang around the entire day under the big tree.


Many old houses around.

We spend our days exploring the city eating Injera and drinking St George beer from street restaurants. Its dirt cheap, Injera cost R12-00 for a meal for 4, Coffee is around R2.5, and the best we have tasted, beers go for around R4-00. Injera is the national dish and is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture.

You eat it with your hand breaking off pieces and eating it with the variety of stews and salads dished up with on the Injera.


Injera, pasta, hot stuff, beers and Coke consumed daily.


Grilled fish with beer, Wibien demonstrate how it should be done.

The fucking food is so hot it cooks my brain stem. Iíve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Jayís fluid, somebody do the Heimlich manoeuvre, please! Everyone knows the routine by now, get me more beer before I ignite. How in Godís name can people devour food this hot is beyond me?

Martijn, Elsebie and Wibien laugh themselves silly, they eat this nuclear waste as if itís honey. I will stick to pastries, lovely pancakes and girlie foods that are on offer, thank you very much!

Menu's will add a smile to your face every time.

Sunny sid up with Beacon.


Hum Burger and Paper steak!? Never had one these. Who ever will eat a vegetable sandwich?


Calculator chicken?


Thank you!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 07:14:50 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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The Ethiopians love eating at restaurants and coffee shops, big espresso coffee machines grace every shop with some patrons sitting around at small tables other having their coffee and pastries at bar tables.

Where they get these machines is a mystery and they are equally competent in fixing them. One interesting drink is called ďSpriceĒ, its half espresso half-strong tea in a small espresso glass with a big scoop of sugar, just stir too youíre liking.


coffee, with the SS Sink drifting around the cup


Making new friends in coffee shops. This is Tomoko one of the best know hangout places for locals in Addis. Also one of the oldest and best know for their coffee. It is better than Starbucks or other well known coffees if that is any indication.


The only and best brand water is Ambro and cost a few rand. Cappuccino is coffee with cacao powder, and Sprice with loads of sugar to raise your changes of turning Diabetic

Offline michnus

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It is said the biggest market in Africa is in Addis, well we had to go have a look. I cannot vouch for the biggest, big for sure, it is a maze of small alleys and shops tightly stacked next to each other. Anything from dead policemen to Banana plant roots are on display in front of shops.

This is re-cycling city, anything and everything is stripped, cut and broken up to be used or sold again. You can get an axe made from an old car suspension blade for R30. I got a man to make us thick leather straps for our soft luggage on the bike as the ones we had been damaged with all the falls and tumbles.


Street vendors in Addis






Can't get a credit card into a fat girls butt cheeks, that's how tight the shops are packed in.


Dog leashes, horse straps, sex whips anything is on offer, well if you want a sex whip it will have to be custom made.


These guys sit and weld the entire day and their welders glasses are a piece of card-box and a old pair of sunglasses.


Axe made from old suspension blade of a LDV


Horse goodies are colourful and well made. Everything is hand made in this place.


Gym equipment is big business and made from anything that is heavy that they can lay their hands on.

Offline michnus

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The cars in Addis had me flabbergasted, I am a petrol-head and to see so many old cars in such good condition running around was like leaving a kid in a toy store.

VW kombiís are still as common as Toyota pick-ups in SA, there are split windows and split doors versions, and pick-up types and hundreds of spare shops selling anything VW related.

The locals moan, people from all over the world want to buy up these old relics, problem it is not permitted to export cars out of Ethiopia.


Old Fiat 500 still in good condition                                            Split window Combi

 
Syncro double cab pick up?                                                                 Late model lights and double door body, they get mix and match for parts


Split window pick-up.                                                                       Still flying strong. It might be that the front end have been changed.
Click to see bigger picture

Close to Wim's Holland house we discovered this American diner type restaurant. They make seriously good food, and parties are off the wall.




Most of the stuff is from the 70's and 80's

« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 02:35:15 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Re: Hello Africa tell me how you doing? Wim's Holland house parties.
« Reply #354 on: April 07, 2013, 08:12:26 pm »
The modus operandi for the days were to go to town. Get whatever parts we need or do whatever paperwork had to be done. Then it is back for repairing and helping each other with trucks, cars or bikes.
At 17h00 work stop, shower and then, St Georges beer, Bitterballen and this went through till close before midnight.

Beef fillet is dirt cheap and we paid something like R30-00 per kilo for fillet. Once the other travellers picked up on "braai" it became a near daily thing. They loved it. And were even more impressed when told it gets better in SA with more choice of meat.






Chris, the guy with the cast around the foot, is a motorcyclist from Germany. His foot got caught between his pannier and an Ethiopian taxi and his foot burst in his MX boot. As if not enough he had to pay the taxi driver, who by the way was in the wrong, compensation and had to pay to get his bike back from the police.
Termo is the man in the back ground. His on a 5 year tour around the world with his Ford panel van.




This is St Geroges beer. The best beer in Ethiopia, and actually a very good tasting beer at that. But it makes you do stupid things.  :lol8:





Georg and Emma, Austrians worked in Yemen, then in Ethiopia and now in Jordan.



Addis is not for the average traveler thatís looking for the brand name city experience, this is a city with a soul it offer a unique angle to city tourism and will appeal to no-nonsense travelers.
I can honestly say for once we enjoyed a city and this offbeat place is truly in a different league!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 02:36:44 pm by michnus »
 

Offline Karoo Rider

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Wow. What an unbelievable journey.  :thumleft:
 

Offline J-dog

still reading with great interest  :thumleft:
 

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Lekker om te lees Mich........................hou aan.................ons wag vir die volgende aflewering.  :thumleft:
 

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Net gou die ketel aansit.............hier is weer 'n nuwe "installment" :thumleft:
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Offline michnus

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Thanks manne.  :thumleft:

Just a quick one. Is the images a problem?

I have to list from Smugmug since our own software on WD's have not been moved to the new platform where I can upload to the site directly.
I know some people can not view Smugmug at work because it is a image hosting site.
But to load pictures 10 per post at the bottom of each post is kak at best and I would rather not post than do it that shitty way. It will make not give the story the feel and look that is needed.