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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cumbaba, Feb 13, 2012.
Enjoying your detailed report immensely Thanks for sharing it..
amazing photographs, great adventure getting involved with locals, keep interacting and riding,
Nice pics 'n report
Thanks for sharing...
Gerçekten çok güzel olmuş.Video ve anlatım bütün olarak .
Daha uzun yıllar buşekilde devam etmenizi dilerim.
Bir planda biz yapıyoruz arkadaşımla iki kişi ,iki motosiklet bu mayıs ayı için.İzmir'den Kathmandu'ya 12.000 Km.
Daha çok yol amaçlı olacak...sizinde bahsettiğiniz gibi aile,çocuklar , iş , para bize 20-25 gün müsade verdiler... :))
Dilerim bende dönüşümüzde sizinki gibi bir video ile paylaşırım bu yolculuğu..
olgar yolculugunuzda iyi eglenceler dilerim.
bir gün yollarda gorusmek dilegiyle
Very nice report on a part of the world most of us here know little about...
Keep it coming
Nice! I was in Konya for a few days for work and thoroughly enjoyed the food and sights. Next time hopefully on 2 wheels So nice to see these countries in a better perspective than portrayed to the western masses. The Africa Twin is also my favourite bike of all time. Keep it coming pls!
Do you know another rider in the world who go to Somaliland with motorcycle?
I was writing that information as delayed. I woke up early in the morning and I rode towards Togowochale border line.
That was the last photograph shot regarding Ethiopia
Few days at the beginning of Somaliland travel were just like a nightmare. Transactions at border were pretty easy. But as biggest difficulty, Attendants and authorized people were totally clueless regarding tryptic document. They had no idea about it. I had really hard times until I solve tryptic problem in Somaliland and Ethiopia. I passed those both border over without having any trouble.
INFORMATION ABOUT ETHIOPIA:
There were road construction workings along the way. Excavation was being made on left side of the road. Passport Office was located at the left side. It took only one minute to make procedures completed. But customs building was a real disaster. It was located at 50 meters after passport Office. But it was impossible to find. It was a shed located behind of another shed. Anyway, finally I found it. But I faced with tryptic document problem. Authorized people refused to sign it. When I showed the entrance stamp and the letter, finally I solved the problem. Then I arrived at the Wochale border gate by going ahead straight and by riding through middle of the trash dump. Everything was awesome at there, because I was from Turkey. I made my tryptic transaction by myself in a minute. I filled, I signed and I stamped it. It took three minutes only. After I left from customs and went ahead a little, I asked about direction of Hergeisa. Everyone pointed a different dirt road. It was a dirt road about 25 kilometers. The problem was not that it was dirt road. The problem was that lots of different roads laying in front of me. I had no idea about that which one I would follow. lots of different roads laying n front of me. I had no idea about that which one I would follow.
I went ahead with a little compass help and with a strong belief. And finally I arrived at the asphalt road.
I arrived at Hargeisa by passing a check point at almost each 20 kilometers. I decided not to stay there when I saw the conditions of the city. Two Chinese people I met with them in Addis were staying at the hotel in there by paying 25 USD per night. I decided to buy fuel and to go to Barbera. While I was buying fuel I smelled something strange. And I was shocked at that moment. Attendant at gas station was filling my fuel tank with diesel instead of fuel. They were calling fuel as patrol like petrol. Because I had said benzin by mistake, they had misunderstood me. Until I stopped him the attendant put about 3 or 5 liters diesel into my fuel tank. I went to backyard of the gas station and I removed the tank. I made it empty. I bought some petrol (fuel). After few try the engine worked. It was early hours in the morning. And there was an environmental condition that made you asked that was it Hergeisa. I believed what had been told in Addis. So I hit the road towards Barbera. While I was Ethiopia, everybody had been talking about Barbera that how much beautiful place it was. Barbera was really beautiful place but not as much as told. Beauty or ugliness of a place came out by the agency of the people living in there. Anyway, I hit the road and I went ahead. After I passed Hergeisa about 60 kilometers, I went into a hole very fast and hardly. The screw of back side shock absorber was broken. It had been broken before when I was in Khartoum. And I had changed it that time. I was very lucky, because I did not fall down.
Inner side of my motorcycle's back side bumper was tired off due to the friction. Metal parts of chassis were appeared. I had also backup one with me.
When I had been in Ankara Turkey before I started, One of my friend named Burçinhan Doğan and I had been checking the equipments I would take with me for my journey in the middle of the his apartment. I had been keeping a jumper cable in my hand. I had asked to Burçinhan that whether I was supposed to take that cable with me. We had looked at each other and we had taken a deep breath. We had understood each other without talking much at that moment and we had started to laugh loudly. Something would be necessary if you had not taken it, or it would bother you if you had taken it. I had preferred to take that jumper cable with me, even it would bother me. My friend had suggested me to take it. We had talked by telephone when I had been in Khartoum. He had suggested me to take some backup shock absorber screw with me. I Had not thought that they would be necessary during my travel. But I had taken some with me. Because it had seemed to me like a good idea. Even I had thought that their quality much better than I had bought from another shop. Anyway, that was why I had some backup screws with me. I removed the side bags and top bag of motorcycle and I careened it on its left side.
I had hard times while I was trying to fix my motorcycle by myself. Anyway, it took half an hour to insert the screw until at 16:00. I lifted the motorcycle up. I started the engine. But it did not work. There was problem due to the diesel or because that I had careened the motorcycle. So, I stopped and took a break. I smoked a cigarette and I drank some water. I waited until the fuel drained if it had overflowed from the float. Meantime I was afraid of finished the battery. I tried time to time starting the engine during an hour. But it did not work. At that time a white Toyota pick-up stopped at next to me. Drivers name was Ahmad Dırır. He was a director at Mining and Water Ministry. I asked to him that whether he could carry my motorcycle away until Barbera. Being Turkish and Muslim was able to provide so much help for you at there. Driver answered me positively. We loaded my motorcycle on the pick-up. We drove towards Barbera. It was like at 18:30 when we arrived at. I settled in the hotel named Al- Madina. Price was 3,50 USD at the hotel. The bathroom was shared but the hotel was incredibly clean.
Because I preferred morning instead of evening, I did nothing. I removed the accumulator and I charged it. The Battery Tender brand equipment served to me really greatly during my journey. I went to a restaurant had a very dirty kitchen and I ate a dish called fattira. I returned the hotel and I went to bed.
I slept very well at night. I got up and I searched for something to eat. But I could not find. I had just some biscuits and coca cola for breakfast. First I bought a sim card. I paid 3 USD for it. I started to struggle with my motorcycle. I tried to fix it. The battery was powerful. The engine was seemed as if it would start when I moved the choke, while I was pressing the starter. But the engine did not start. The battery got really weak. I asked the hotel owner to let me to use his cars battery. I started to use it. My jumper cables worked. Because I could not fix the motorcycle I called Bora Koçar from Ankara Turkey. He went to Mr. Metin who was working at Başkent Engine as repairman and He called me from there. We talked with Mr. Metin about the situation on the phone. He directed me step by step regarding what I was supposed to do from the tank to carburetor. He told me about correct place and direction of some screws by heart. I found them hardly although I was looking at the engine. I hung up the phone and I started to apply what he told me one by one. I removed the hose between pump and carburetor. I pressed the starter to make the fuel drained out. Because I was supposed to clean the diesel mixed with fuel on the pump if there was. I finished that. I removed first connection hose of carburetor. I pumped some compressed air inside by means of my lungs, because I had not required equipment. It was also okay. I opened the drain plug at bottom side of the carburetor. I made the fuel inside drained out to clean the part from diesel mixed with fuel. I finished that work also. I mounted correctly each part I had removed. I got some help from someone at that level. The one at the right side was okay. But the one at the left side was not okay. At that time, I dropped very little fuel inside of that part. I finished that step also. I pulled the gas until the end and I pressed the starter meantime. The engine started at third trial. The battery was off. But, everything was normal except the accumulator. I went to Barbera Beach to control the engine, to charge the battery and to clean myself. Finally everything was okay. The beach was beautiful and I was happy.
I returned the hotel I cleaned myself. I met with two Egyptian guy named Mohammed and İbrahim and a Syrian guy named Reşit at evening. Reşit was able to speak Turkish. I spent some time with them. Then I went to bed.
08th April 2011
I decided to see the city. I planned to go to the beach and I planned to go to the Turkish Mosque had been built by Turkish for Friday prayer.
It was a good day as mentally and physically. My plan for next day was to find a ferry boat to go to Djibouti, Oman or Yemen from Barberra.
09th April 2011
It was the day all my plans fell to the ground. I could not find a ferry boat to go to places I had planned to visit. Actually I was sure about that there were sailings. I also found offices of related companies. But they were closed. So I just could not do anything. Working hours were almost only three hours. Working time was starting like at 09:00 and it was finishing at 12:00. Then it was available between 16:30 and 18:00. But there was no attendant at the offices between those hours.
I could not arrange any departure way that day from Barberra. I thought that I could go to Hergeisa, and then I could go to Djibouti from Hergeisa. Everyone at Barberra told me that it was impossible to go to Djibouti by motorcycle. But I did not trust so much comment of people had never ridden motorcycle during their lifetimes. I thought that it would be better to let the morning bring good things.
10th April 2011
I hit the road at early hours in the morning. There was not any control on the roads until at 08:00 morning. Usually there was only one police officer at nights. And that police officer was not giving any trouble to drivers anyway.
I arrived at Hergeisa early and I called Ahmad. A police car escorted to me until the Ministry. I started to chat with a marshal at there. He told me something about Djibouti road. He told me that I was supposed to be careful along the road, there were 250 kilometers. 4 wheel-drive vehicles were able to pass that distance over in fifteen hours, if I would camp I had to be very careful against coyotes and copperheads, if I got lost I was supposed to return through the same way, I would never go ahead in that condition, it was the season for rain, so if I caught up in the rain I was supposed to stay away from creeks, because it would be possible to be overcome by flood. After that conversation I was really scared of all that terrible possibilities. The marshal advised me to load my motorcycle on a truck and to travel by same truck. It was good idea. We went to Djibouti Station with his two personnel because Ahmad had a meeting. Their names were Mohammed and Ali.
Trucks were going from Hergeisa to Djibouti continuously. My purpose was to load my motorcycle on a truck and to go to Djibouti. I arranged a truck. Price was 40 USD. After that arrangement, I was not sure so much while I was returning back. The biggest problem in Somaliland was a herb called CHAT. Some people were eating CHAT three times in a day. They were not chewing it. They were really eating it!. I was aware that it was a culture. But when I remembered the truck driver I had hired and trucks turned over on the road I had seen before, I could not be sure that much. Anyway, the truck would depart at 17:00. We went to a hotel and ate something. We went to the Ministry and spent some time at there. When we left and we reached the truck, we saw that the truck was loaded and the driver was sloshed. I thought about that if it would be logical to travel with that truck or not, but I understood at last that it was not good to force situation. Time was late, and it was not possible to go to Ethiopia/ Djibouti. I was supposed to find a hotel to stay. Mohammed did not let me to leave and He told me that he wanted to host me at his house.
Streets of Somaliland
While I was going to home, it was raining for the first time in this year.
Mohammed Naseer and I grew a really good friendship. Mohammed invited me to their house.
After diner, we chatted for a long time. Meantime I had a call from Barberra. They told me that there was a ferry boat next day from Barberra to Oman. They told me that I was supposed to be in Barberra in the morning. After a pleasant conversation I went to bed. I would go back to Barberra in the next morning.
11st April 2011
I started my day with a breakfast called BRİT.
Then I took my motorcycle from the Ministry and I hit the road. I arrived at Barberra like at 09:30.
People knew about me on the roads no more. No one stopped me. I passed my whole day by trying to solve ferry boat issue. Abdi who was owner of the related company told me that I was supposed to wait, because he would come at 10:00. Then he told me that he would come at 16:30, he also told me that he was about to solve my problem. Finally when he came at 18:30, he told me that the ferry boat would not take me because I have passport had been taken in European country. The captain was worried about that existence a white passenger in the ferry boat could have created a problem. My plans had failed. I had ridden for 320 kilometers and lost a day in vain. My certain plan for next day was to go to Djibouti through Ethiopia. I would go to Ethiopia first, and then I would go to Djibouti from Ethiopia.
12th April 2011
Nightmare was back again. I hit the road very early in the morning and I arrived at Hergeisa early hours. I went to the Ministry and I said good bye to my friends. I went to the border and I made procedures finished. It was easy to make exit transaction finished from Somaliland. I had taken a copy of related document in case of it would be required at Ethiopia border, but I did not need it. And the nightmare started again. The attendant at passport transaction department applied mistakenly exit stamp on my passport instead of entrance stamp. Because he thought that I was exiting from the country. But I was trying to enter. Due to that wrong application, my visa became invalid. That situation gave me really big trouble. I asked to the attendant what I was supposed to do. I asked him to give me new visa for entrance. He told me that he was not authorized to do that transaction. He told me that I could get new visa at Hergeisa. I insisted on that matter, but he did not understand me. I had to return back to Hergeisa perforce. But According to documents, I was out of Somaliland border as a passenger, and my motorcycle had entered to Ethiopia. I had no idea about how I could solve the problem. I was totally clueless. Meantime the attendant called the attendant at Somaliland border. He explained the situation to him. I returned back to Somaliland border. The officers at Somaliland border told me that they knew about me. They would ignore me while I was entering to Somaliland again. Because, it was impossible to postpone exit transaction, they let me to go and get a new visa. They gave me enough time to solve my problem. I was in Somaliland again. It was same dirt road, it was same long asphalt-paved road again. Thanked to god I had mobile phone. I called to Naseer, and I asked him to wait for me. Because, working hours would end at 14:00. I rode fast and I arrived at Hergeisa on time. I explained the situation to my friends. They told me that there was nothing to do at that moment. They suggested me to go to their home with them. We went to the home. We rested a little bit. Then we went out for dinner. We returned the home and I went to bed. But I did not sleep well.
13rd April 2011
Number of that day was a black-letter day. I was supposed to wait and see what would have happened. We went to the consulate early in the morning. Naseer accompanied to me. At my first day in Hergeisa, if I had not met with Mr. Ahmad Dırır, I could not have met those guys working the consulate. I could not have been friend with them. In that situation, I had no idea about how I could solve all those problems by myself and what I could do. Anyway, It was required to get a letter from Immigration Office so that I could get visa from the consulate. Required documents were follows: a photocopy of passport, two passport size photographs, photograph of entrance stamp on passport (to see how long I had been staying in there, whether my visa was still valid). There was an exit stamp on my passport, but I was still within country borders. I was wonder about whether that stamp would cause a problem. Meantime Naseer stepped in and helped me. I got the required letter by paying 10 USD bribe. I went to the consulate. I started to wait. When my turn came the officer looked at my passport. I had got visa two times, and I was trying to get third one. He asked to me about why I was requesting visa again. I told about situation totally as it was. I told him that it was not my fault. I showed my tyriptic document to him. They gave me an one week transit visa within 20 minutes. It was like at 11:30 when the transactions finished. When I was walking towards the Ministry, I saw my friend Tarmo. It would take 3 hours from Hergeisa to Harar or to Dire Dawa. I have nothing to do anyway. I wanted to spend some times with my friends. Mohammed was out of office to make research at country with Chinese people. Naseer would come with me until a town close to the border. He also would get visa for Ethiopia. Shortly after I talked with Naseer while I was returning, I came across with a couple I had met with them in Addis. I invited that couple to the Ministry by getting permission of Naseer and Mohammed. They created a nice group together. They were speaking also Russian. They had come from same land. They were planning to go to Barberra. They were supposed to hire a guard as the rule. Naseer solved that matter quickly as 20 USD per day. They would leave next day. Naseer and I left from there. We came across with Mohammed at the middle of the way. So Naseer return back with him.
Ahmad Dırır and I could not have a photograph together somehow. I thanked to Mohammad and Naseer.
I rode towards the border, and I arrived at Harar almost without stopping at nowhere.
I would stay at Harar that night. There was no empty room at Tana Hotel. So, I stayed at Abadeer Guest House by paying 115 Brr for per day. My plan was for next day to check the trains between Dire Dawa and Djibouti it had been told to me about it before. If it was possible to use it, I would travel by train. Besides, there was a dirt road from Dire Dawa to Djibouti. I hoped that next day would be an easy day.
14th April 20011
I hit the road towards Dire Dawa.
I forgot name of that village, but it was the village Chat trading had been making at there.
My plan was to go to Awash. I would stay at there for one night. Then I planned to go to Mile, Logiya, Semara (Capital of Afar Clan), Galafi and Djibouti through Galafi border gate one by one. Chat Bazaar was pretty much active in morning hours. It was very usual event in the East. When I arrived at Dire Dawa, Some students were protesting something.
Then I made a searching for train Schedule. It was not valid any longer. It was not being made since 2 years. I found the road. It was a dirt road about 250 kilometers long. I learnt about it that it had not been using generally, and Mile Road had been known as Djibouti Road. My route was Awash. Clothes of women as styling also gradually began to change while I was going on to east.
I looked for hotel when I arrived at Awash. Actually there were very cheap accommodation facilities in Awash. The prices were changing between 30 and 50 Brr for hotels located side of the road. Concept for hotels in Ethiopia was rooms located around a courtyard. So, vehicles also were in safe at courtyards. A vehicle came right after me to the hotel. There were a Dutch woman and two Ethiopian workers in it.
We chatted for a while. They were staying at the Park Hotel by paying 100 Brr for per day. They asked about empty room. But there was no empty room. They recommended me to stay at Genet Hotel. Actually other hotels were also good. But I need to have bath. I had not have bath for 3 or 4 days. Because I had already known about conditions on the road for future, I preferred to stay at Genet Hotel. I went to there. Price was 120 Brr. But I negotiated as 110 Brr for per day. Bathroom was in the room. It was time to rest and relax. Then I got totally cheated as I had not been ever. I was hungry so much and I looked for food. I paid 70 Brr for a half chicken, some vegetables and some rice. While I was sitting at the restaurant after meal, I chatted with peoples and I learned real price of meal I had eaten. Price was actually 25 Brr. But only for Ethiopian people. Then woman who was owner of the hotel and the receptionist Tedros come over. I protested her. I told her that I had been travelling in Ethiopia for a long time, I had eaten something at so many places, but I had never paid that much expensive price for food. The hotel owner started to praise about her hotel and foods. Anyway, she called over the waiter at the end of the conversation. She wanted to give 20 Brr back to me. She said that she wanted to make a discount for me. I refused her with a rather stiff manner. The she told me that the breakfast would be free as a compliment of the hotel. I told her that I would have not enough time for breakfast in the next morning. I told her also that my intention was not to have free breakfast or to get 1 or 2 USD discount. My intention was warn her about not to cheat peoples as a customer. Then I went to the room saying I would hit the road in the next morning to finish that uncomfortable conversation. The electricity was off as my bad luck. And it did not come for all night. I wanted to go to bed early because I planned to leave from there really early. I had learnt same day the Logiya Hotel was better because it had more options in menu of its restaurant. I planned to take a look at there for next day. I would go to Djibouti next day.
15th April 2011
I went out almost at sunrise at Awash.
The road was being used by truck drivers especially at nights. East part of Ethiopia was not seemed like the other regions at all. There was no city or development at there. Tribal order was still being applied.
It was possible to feel Africa very deeply. I saw so many women walking on the road. I saw little girls grazing sheep. But it was impossible to take their photographs. They winced when they saw me. And they ran away towards inland without looking back when I stopped the motorcycle.
Then I understood the situation, when I saw people sitting at the close to side of the road. Actually, they were houses what I saw them as little peaks built of stones.
Clothes people wore pretty much changed. Language, appearance and everything changed too.
More natural and wild life was ruling at there.
The altitude was about between 800 or 1000 meters. Everywhere was steppe. I could not find any fuel on the road. Fuel tank was and reserves were full. I had travelled for about 300 or 350 kilometers when I had arrived at Logiya. There were more than 450 kilometers from there to capital city of Djibouti according to the map. The fuel I had was not enough. It was almost impossible to find fuel at little towns. I was pretty much sure about that fact. That was why I did not take in to consideration the cities with fuel marked on the map. I bought 10 liters fuel paying 25 Brr for per liter on the black market. I added one of reserve drum to the fuel tank. Fuel tank was full. My only problem was money. Actually it was not a problem, it was only limited. My money was only enough for food and a bottle of water. I could have sat without doing anything for all day and evening. I had drawn 1500 Brr cash when I was in Harar. I had some US Dollars in my pocket. But I had no Brr. There was no one to exchange them on the black market. At the hotel I met with someone living in Addis. He helped me. He gave me 160 Brr for 10 USD. At my last night I could say about Ethiopia that Ethiopian people were really very helpful and nice. They were calm. When you saluted them they answered you by smiling. If you were good at smiling, you would be very comfortable in Ethiopia. Livelihood usually was cheap in there. I guessed I had paid 200 Brr at the hotel for per night as most expensive price until that day. It was at Gonder and Debark. After that hotel prices were changing between 30 Brr or 120 Brr. It was possible to get full by paying between 15 Brr or 40 Brr including drinks if you preferred to eat local food. It was possible to eat very good meals at qualified restaurants in Bole region of Addis by paying between 100 Brr or 120 Brr. Beer in bottle was 5 or 7 Brr, coca cola was 5 Brr, one liter water was 10 or 12 Brr. Ethiopia had so many mountains geographically. That was why the weather was really very nice at that season. The nature was awesome. I would leave from Ethiopia with very nice friendships and memories. I would be a real pleasure to go there again one day, if I would have a chance.
16th April 2011
I hit the road at the sunrise in the morning.
Those were baboons I was trying to take their photographs continuously until that day. They looked like as if they were saying to me goodbye.
Dağ keçisi ve cinsini bilmediğim bir sürü yırtıcı kuş gördüm. Birkaç otel fotoğrafı çektim.
I arrived at border gate about after 125 kilometers. But place I arrived at was Djibouti gate. I had passed already Ethiopia border mistakenly. I returned 6 kilometers back and I found the customs building. I finished my transactions very easy and fast. I arrived at Djibouti side again. I finished my passport and customs procedures quickly. Border passing transactions were free in African countries. I did not want to remember about charges I had paid in Egypt for 120 USD and I had paid in Sudan. I had a calm riding. I was trying to use fuel I had as carefully as I could do, because I needed fuel. I passed two residential districts, but I could not find fuel at there. It was impossible also to find fuel on the black market. It was possible to exchange Ethiopia Brr to Djibouti Franc. Djibouti was very beautiful place, but I was not able to spend so long time at there. I had not enough budgets for that. I had already learnt about that livelihood and hotel prices were high. After 325 kilometers while I was approaching capital city of Djibouti, Fuel ran out. I added reserve drum to fuel tank. Bad quality fuel lasted only until there. But I was very close to Djibouti as I understood from direction signboards. I arrived at Djibouti while kilometers indicator was showing 350 kilometers after Logiya. The time was early and I was supposed to find ferry boat. Hotel issue was easy to solve, because there were only 3 or 4 hotels in there. Besides I was supposed to transmit a salute to Mr.Adil Türki (Mr.Adil Çat) living Djibouti from Ebrar Çubukçu working at Amman Embassy. While I was riding towards the port, two guys travelling in a vehicle called out to me. Actually they called out to me, then I stopped to them to talk a little bit. Their names were Warsama and Mohammad. I met with them. They invited me for lunch. Mohammad was dealing with network business. We went to his office. His home was also next to his office. We had together a good meal as pasta, meatballs and salad at his house. I told to him about my needs and I mentioned about Mr.Adil. Mohammad told me that I could use his office and I could take bath at his house. They were very friendly and sincere guys. We went out to find Adil together and We found him.
After a short conversation Adil took me to the dormitory of a charity institution providing housing and education opportunities to needy students. There were three Turkish young men at there. They were young and brilliant people. Adil was teaching about Ninja culture in there.
Story of Adil would take place at the end of Djibouti memories.
17th April 2011
I was at home which had real Turkish hygiene understanding. I had opportunities to take bath and use internet. They were also providing meal to me three times in a day. My first lunch was consisting of beans, rice and salad as my favorite.
That day I went to Yemen Consulate. I could not get visa. Situation was really critical that time. All my plans had been based on the Yemen border passing. Because; Ferry boats going to countries except Yemen were not carrying me with my motorcycle. There was direct flight and ferry boat to Dubai. But the place I planned to go was Oman. There was ferry boat also to Oman, but there was no direct flight to Oman. The situation was a little bit mixed up. Working hours were very short at there. It was between 08:30 and 13:00 for morning, then, it was between 16:30 and 18:00. Actually I had 3 hours in whole days for formal transactions. That day finished as I expressed. I hoped that next day would be a good day.
18th April 2011
I visited ferry boat companies with Warsama in the morning that day. Prices were unbelievable. Prices to carry motorcycle were between 800 USD and 1000 USD. Price for flight was about 500 USD. When the border passing charge which I had counted as 100 USD went up so much, I felt disappointed and bad. Warsama introduced me with Charko by noon. As I knew he was only motorcycle rider of Djibouti. He had a Kamasaki Vulcan with 2000 CC engine. We hung out at Holywood Planet Café and we drank something. We agreed to meet for lunch next day. He was very friendly and he was pretty much well known person at there. He told me that he could help me. Then I told him that I preferred to do something together first more than to get help from him. That day finished like that way. Actually I did not make any progress. So, I hoped again that next day would be better.
19th April 2011
I got up early and went to the center. There were so many carriers in there. I could not get any positive result until that time. It was seemed that first possible ferry boat for Oman would leave from port 06th of May, I tried to find a cargo ship or ship carrying animals. At first day we wandered together, Warsama had introduced me with also Port Commander Muhammad Musa Abar. I called him and I asked him for some help. I got some information about entrance and exit of ferry boats. But there was not anything useful. I met with Charko for lunch. We went to a fish restaurant. I remembered Turkey when I saw the restaurant.
There were so many kinds of fish in that small country. And prices were dirty cheap in comparison with Turkey. Price for fish was 3 Usd in plentiful season. Prices were changing between 6 Usd or 8 Usd in normal season. Charko ate that fish by himself. I also ate a same size fish. Fishes were being cooked in Tandoori.
Fishes were being served with some different sauces. For example, they were serving fish with honey. Fish and honey were in a nice harmony. It was different and nice taste. It was a nice day as friendship, but it was a bad day as issues and matters needed to be solved. I was feeling myself very tired of problems.
20th April 2011
That day, I talked with Ambassador of Yemen by means of one of Warsamas friend. Result was same again. No visa. To get visa was possible only in one condition. If I was able to go to Yemen by means of an agent located in Yemen, and that agency faxed a letter guaranteeing my safety, it would be possible to get visa. Statement was crystal clear: There is a chaos in our country. The region between Aden and Al Mukalla you are going to travel is very dangerous especially. El Kaide is being in the country and it is not welcoming at all. I am sure about that you can get killed till you will explain yourselves. I cant take this risk. It is not a situation only valid for you. That is why, we only accept application from Djibouti citizen. I tried another way to get visa. My older sister went to Yemen Consulate in Turkey Istanbul. She asked to the them that whether it was possible to get visa if I sent my passport to Turkey. But she could not get any positive result with that way. Just she learnt that if Yemen Consulate in Yemen gave a letter to me, and if I made an application with that letter, even the result would be negative they would step in at that time as Yemen Consulate in Turkey. So, I called Murat Kahraman Çetin living Ankara Turkey. He had a worksite in Yemen. We made a meeting through MSN with Mr.Kadir working in Yemen. During that meeting Mr.Kadir told us that an practice alert announced, he had to leave and he would be back after 10 minutes. When he was back he told us that it was not an practice alert, it was a real attack they got. Till that moment, Mr. Kadir had told me that it would be better if I would go to Sanaa, I never should not have gone to Aden or Al Mukalla. If I would go to Sanaa, he could find a solution. But after that attack he definitely stated to me that I should not have gone to Yemen. My route was get clear after that information. It would be towards Oman or Dubai.
21st April 2011
Till that moment, only action I did was to go to the center early hours in mornings and to search for ferry boat. I found a ferry boat. It was a company named Saba International. Their ferry boat would go to Port Sudan first. After that, it would go to Dubai. The ferry boat would take me and my motorcycle and leave at 26th of April. It would stop by at Sudan. That voyage till Sudan would take 3 days. The ferry boat would stay for one day at Sudan. Then it would arrive at Dubai about at 10th of May. The attendants of Gulf Asist would meet me at Dubai. And they would help me according to my plans for future times. My situation was that; if I could be in Dubai at 10th of May, I would go to Oman, I would stay in Oman for a week, I would go to India with a ferry boat. That voyage would take a week from Oman to India as I knew. Under the light of all these facts, I would be in India in last week of May or first week of June according to that plan. That days was coincided with Monsoon Rains season. I could try that way. My second plan was that; I would go to Dubai through Oman, I would go to Karachi Port in Pakistan, I would go to Iran. Because I would be earlier in Iran I could visit Azerbaijan and Armenia, and then I could go to Turkey through Georgia.
Ferry boat issue would be clear at 10:30 at 23rd of April. I would make plan for future days after I went to Dubai.
22nd of April 2011
There was nothing to do. I was just waiting. I did laundry. I checked my motorcycle. Phone at house rang at noon. My friend told me that phone call was for me. Someone speaking English was calling me. I answered the phone call and I understood that Tarmo was calling. Same day, Tarmo, Jenya and Koista came there by using Somaliland-Djibouti highway. I asked to him that how he could find me and that phone number. He told me that they had stopped in front of a supermarket on the road, They had done shopping, He had told someone at the supermarket that they had been looking for Turkish guy named Mustafa. That guy had told Tarmo that he had already known about me. He had given the phone number of the house. Luckily he had already known about me and Adil. I met with them at afternoon.
Me, Adil, Tarmo, Koista, Jenya
They told me that the road was really terrible. They were able to pass 300 kilometers by riding for two full days. They had been stuck in the sand for few times. They had waited for a truck at once and They were able to take their motorcycles out by pulling with a truck. I saw photographs. I thought that I had made a correct decision regarding not to use that road. They needed a place to stay. We negotiated as 50 USD per day for three bed room at Horseed Hotel. That day finished as I wrote. I hoped that next day would be better.
23rd April 2011
I went to Saba International at early hours in morning. I met with Mr.Mahir. We went to the port. We made my entrance transaction completed. I paid about 30 USD total. After I finished my work I called Tarmo and the other friends. We met. I rested at Mohammads house at afternoon. It was time for CHAT.
I went to the Office at 17:00 and I checked about final situation. The nightmare was back again. Ferry boat owner changed his mind regarding carrying away me with my motorcycle. Captain, I and Benance who was owner of Saba International talked about the matter again and again. But owner of the ferry boat did not change his mind. And the Captain told about truths finally. He told me that It was not guaranteed to go Dubai from Port Sudan. May be they would stay at Port Sudan for a long time or they would be able to find a cargo for somewhere else. I found a company in Turkey for Dubai visa. I sent my passport and passport photograph by e-mail. They would provide the visa to me for 95 USD. They would sent the visa to my e-mail address. Benance called the Port and somewhere else again. He found a ferry boat named Şakir. It would come at 28th of April and it would leave at 29th of April to go to Dubai directly. He called owner of the ferry boat. The news was positive. Owner of Şakir would make my name written on the list of the ferry boat. I was not sure about my feelings. I hoped that next morning would be better.
24th April 2011
Charko called me in the morning. He suggested me to go to Arta and then Lake Asal together for next day. We met at afternoon and we chatted a little bit. We came across with journalist at gas station. When we told them about our plan for next day, they suggested us to meet in morning at a cafe and to make an interview with us. We would go to Lake Asal next day.
25th April 2011
Charko came to house like at 09:00 in the morning. We went to a café and we met with the journalists. There was people coming and going continuously. We were able to leave like at 10:00. Arta was a residential place had altitude about 750 meters. While Djibouti had been living in hell with high temperature, Arta had been having cool weather. I understood it was true when I went to Arta. It was really pleasant to ride on Djibouti roads with a motorcycle rider from Djibouti. As we left late at beginning we returned back without going to Lake Asal. While I was eating something Tarmo called me. He told me that they would go to Lake Asal. I told him that I would be able to join them with a pleasure if they were able to wait for me. We were on roads like at 15:00. There was 100 kilometers total to ride. Tarmo was riding a little bit slowly. As we stopped to take photograph etc. we arrived at the lake like at 17:30. That was a salt lake. We looked for a place to camp. Ground was not good. We found a salt peak some working had been done there. I struck only inner part of the tent. Jenya and Koista laid a blanket down. They would sleep on it. No one had made preparation at the beginning of the travel. We had only water and cracker. Tarmo made a surprise and he served some pasta by boiling them. The weather was windy and chilly. It was very enjoyable to sleep under the stars at uninhabited place.
26th April 2011
I was buying fuel limited and carefully, because I would travel by ferry boat with my motorcycle. Fuel price was about 1.7 USD for liter. I told Tarmo that I would follow separate routes if they would go towards Todjura, because I did not want to go to there. He told me that he was supposed to make preparations for journey, and they also would return. We arrived at Djibouti by wandering around. My friends living at home I was staying had some other guests. We would camp at Doralee Beach for that night. They had found a place to camp the night before. I went to Adils repair-shop and I changed the oil. There was a little tear on fuel hose I had changed it when I was in Ethiopia before. There was leaking fuel time to time. I fixed that matter. I spent some time with my Turkish friends. Then I went to the Beach at late hours and I found them. I spent a nice evening. I would make ferry boat transactions next day.
27th April 2011
Tarmo had a problem with his accumulators. We went to Adils service and checked them. One of his accumulators was dead. His car had two separate accumulators in multiple. Second one was providing electricity power by means of an inverter for computer and the other needs. We looked for accumulator. Price was 107 USD. Tarmo told me that he would buy an accumulator from Ethiopia later. I called the company and asked about ferry boat issue. Company worker suggested me to talk at early hours next day and to go to the port. That was company attendants answer. By the way I received the Dubai visa. Tarmo and others went to the downtown for shopping and bank issues. I went to some of my friends house I had met with them by means of Adil. I camped at the beach for that night.
28th April 2011
The nightmare was back again. The ferry boat would come at 4th of May. It would leave at 15th or 16th of May. I had spent time for 10 days already. I had spent an extra week although I had planned to stay only 4 or 5 days at there. I would lose 2 weeks more under those conditions. I was uncomfortable very much. I would have financial trouble more that time. Hotel prices were expensive. I had not spent money for staying until that day. But it would cost so much to stay at hotel for two weeks. Besides, transportation expenses for my motorcycle and the other extras would cost so much. I was feeling myself really bad. At the evening, I met at my Turkish friends house with Turgut working at worksite of Enka company. He gave an idea regarding transport my motorcycle. He told me that it would be cheaper if I put my motorcycle in a box instead of to rent a container for my motorcycle. Because that was first time for me during whole my lifetime, I had not thought about that solution. Container size had been stated as 20 feet (6 meters). Transportation expenses would be able to get low by using box instead of container. Next day was Friday. So everywhere would be closed. I thought that I was able to care with that matter at Saturday. If I would not able to solve that matter at Saturday, next day would not be working day again. Because that day would be Sunday and it would be 1st of May. Charko came like at 10:00 in the morning. He had taken price for airfreight. It was 300 Frank for per kilo. I was able to decrease weight of my motorcycle to 250 kilos if I left some stuffs on my motorcycle behind and if I fit new tires on my motorcycle. In that condition, transporting price would be about 75000 Frank. It was equal with 400 or 450 USD. Adil told me that he had some boxes I was able to use in his workplace and I was able to use one of them. I thought that it was possible. I was supposed to add weight of the box to weight of my motorcycle. I guessed I would pay about 750 USD for airfreight. I counted also 500 USD more for myself. So, according to my count I would be able to go to Dubai by paying 1250 USD. Everything would be certain at Saturday. My Turkish friends living in there would go to Moucha Island with a group consisting of Indian and Djibouti citizens at Saturday. They would stay for one day at the Island and they would return. I thought that I could join them. A different option came out. Turgut told me that he was able to provide an invitation to me from Yemen. In that condition I was able to get visa for Yemen. I had lost so much time. Actually, I was spending very pleasant and enjoyable days. I was feeling rested as physically and spiritually. I could not go to some places I had planned. I had planned to go to Goda Mountain, Todjura, Ras Eiro and Seven Brothers Islands. I had planned to make snorkeling at the gulf of Ras Eiro. I hoped that next day would be better by God's help.
29th -30th April 2011
I spent 29th of April just idly. I went out for dinner with Charko and his fiancee at evening. I stayed at Charkos porch at that night. It was very nice night. I went to Saba International very early hours in morning at 30th of April. A misunderstanding made me on alert. The ferry boat would be late. That was certain. But, it would come at 4th or 5th of May and it would leave one day after. It would be in Dubai like at 15th or 16th of May. That day my Djibouti visa was over. Everyone told me that I did not need a new visa because I would leave very soon anyway. I planned to handle with this matter at afternoon that day. My India visa would be invalid at 26th June. Monsoon Rains would start at that season. I did not have any idea about when I would be in Dubai. I was really confused. I was not able to make plan for future days. It was impossible when I was in that condition. I planned to make decision when I arrived at Dubai. At that evening my Turkish friends would go to Mouscha Island by boat. May be I would join them. Time was 12:30 at that moment.
I hoped that next morning would be better.
Cumbamba, that's an excellent RR, looking forward to see more of your trip!!!
Erkan I'am watching...
I rode through some of the areas you did, in the 1970s. It was easier then, no wars, famine and chaos. Very hard, yes, but rewarding. Some of the people were fantastic, the Afar, Kotu, the Adere' in Harar. Jigjiga was the closest to Somalia I got, they're a strange people. Chat has completely taken over the people, a national addiction. It is now a major crop in Ethiopia. The high country of Ethiopia is easy, cool with good food and cheap hotels. Addis Ababa is pleasant with places to fix the bike. I rode a Kawasaki 350 F9, excellent for that part of the world. I crossed Africa with so little equipment, I can't believe I did it. Now, I carry 4x as much to go from Colorado to New Mexico ! !
ellerim yağda, africaya motor yaptım. kısmetse yakında yine yollardayım.
very nice RR, I look forward to more
I was read your report on your website.
Congrats again for this great trip and your courage.