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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sideoff, Jan 18, 2019.
safe travels and have fun
Good update @Sideoff, really glad the thrown chain didn't do anything more than it did; cracking a case that far out wouldn't be fun to overcome. Do you carry quicksteel or the like for situations like that?
Looks like the air filter design could use a little tweaking to make it easier to get to...lol. No way to get at it other than pulling the seat off as well as all the side panels?
Glad you didn't get harassed too badly for missing the checkpoint. Do they check your papers/passport or any of that type of documentation when you stop? Are they looking for drugs or illegal goods of some sort when they go through your bags?
Great set of pics and so glad you're enjoying the ride, bug bites and all. Looking forward to the next installment
Once you have time, could you elaborate on what vaccines that you received in total? When I looked at it, there must be no less than 15 different vaccinations for Ethiopia.
BTW, good luck on the chain mishap! Glad it was not a cracked case.
Fascinating report - thank you so much for making the time and effort to do that. looks like toilet stops would be hardly private!
Quite an adventure... thanks for taking us along!
Those bites while you're sleeping... my money's on fleas. You may get more of them in Lalibela walking around on the carpets in the old churches (worth it anyway). Itch like crazy. If it's a bunch of tiny, red dots in a row, those are bedbugs. Also itch like crazy!
You guys are keeping a really good attitude through what is arguably the most challenging country in Africa to be an outsider. In the month I spent there (only about 2 weeks of which was on the road), I had already had my belly full.
Keep your eyes open and keep the wheels rolling!
Here’s what my back looks like. We’re covered in these bites. At first we thought it was mosquitos but there’s not many around this far north. And the way the bites only started itching a day or two after... that’s gotta be bed bugs, right? I’ve been nibbled on before but never quite like this. We shook out our gear and did laundry and inspected everything, which I think is about all we can do while we’re still on the road. I also gave the owner of the hotel we’re at now a heads up so she can scout the room after we leave. We’ll do a full treatment at home before anything comes into the house. Damn tho.... itchy!!
We both have a bunch of vaccinations already from prior trips. We had to update cholera and meningitis. I already had yellow fever, ash couldn’t get it because they were out. Hep a, hep b, MMR, tetanus we already had for the most part. Rabies is recommended but we didn’t get it, I think it was too close to our departure date.
The vaccination thing is always confusing. It’s expensive, and there’s this weird cost/benefit that goes something like:
((how much it’s worth to me not to get meningitis) - (cost of vaccine)) x (completely unknown risk of getting meningitis, which I will vastly overestimate just to be ‘safe’)
And then we walk out of the office a thousand dollars poorer and filled with dead viruses. Yet we do it anyway. Because with the amount that ash and I travel we’re not taking any chances. Plus we like to shake, hug, and share food/drink freely no matter where we are.
Thanks Pete and Ash for taking the time to post.
I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist...
Love your posts. First rate. I"m really enjoying this.
Ha! Oh that’s good. Just added that to my list of classic movies to revisit.
We’re in the far north now, in Axum. I’m trying to upload some pics to update the RR. I’ve been trying all morning, but it’s slow going. Only 7 pics out of ~30 successfully uploaded so far...
Whoops, accidental duplicate post [deleted]
The bedbug thing sapped some energy. It’s not only the itching of the bites themselves - of which we both had many - but there’s also a kind of mental worrying about whether we still have them with us, and if so how to deal with it when we get home. Suddenly every little itch or discomfort in the middle of the night requires an investigation with a headlamp. Bedbugs put an anesthetic in your skin when they bite that kills the pain and itching for a while, that’s how they bite without waking you up. So the result is that for 2-3 days after, as the anesthesia wears off, it feels like new bites are popping up everywhere.
For our day chillin in Gondar we were pretty tired, and rather than go sight-seeing, we really just wanted to kick it at the hotel. Riding is pretty stimulating, and we’d been constantly surrounded by people, so it felt really good to just chill. This seems to happen to us a lot on moto trips. We finally get to a famous tourist place, and then we hardly even feel like going to see the main attraction, because the process of getting there was more exciting than the thing itself.
Maybe pick up some Facebook and WhatsApp beauty products? :)
A wedding party came by right outside our room. This hotel - called Mayleko - is awesome, if you’re ever in Gondar.
This is the gas line in Gondar.
Fortunately we were with a guy from the hotel who knew everyone, and who came along on my bike to help us find gas. It’s not only the long lines, but even finding gas at all is a big challenge sometimes. There might be 5-6 stations in a city but only one with gas, and it takes a local to call all his buddies and find out which one it is. Our new friend took us right up to the front, he knew the guys at the pump, and for a small tip we got to skip what must’ve been hours of waiting. It pays to have connections.
Next morning we were beating ourselves up for being lazy and being in this awesome historical place and not having seen a single sight. We decided to stop in Gondar and visit the famous castle there, and also a really old church that the folks at the hotel said was cool. We were glad we did.
It’s so neat that Ethiopia has influences from so many different cultures. It is one of the only countries in Africa to never be colonized by a European power, which is an amazing thing when you think about it. Ethiopia was briefly occupied by the Italians in the 1930s, but not colonized, a fact which Ethiopians are justly proud of.
It feels like a real melting pot of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and some Europe mixed in. Ethiopia was visited by the ancient Greeks and Romans on various expeditions in the years before Christ, and is documented in their texts. This castle, which was influenced by Portuguese architecture, is from the 17th century.
We were even more blown away by the church we visited. This is Debre Selassie Church, which also dates to the 17th century. Ethiopia was the second Christian country in the world, after Armenia. It adopted Christianity in 330AD. It’s famous for unique and interesting churches. This one did not disappoint, with every inch of the inside walls covered in cool artwork.
Check out the big animal-hide drums in the corner.
We’ve been having some issues with Ash’s rear wheel rim. She must’ve taken a good hit on it. It’s out of true, with a couple broken spokes. It was so bad on the way into the Gondar that after checking out the castle and church, we decided to see if we could get it fixed.
This little errand took most of the day. There were protests in town that prohibited us from getting to the place where they could true the rim, apparently some soldiers had shot a boy the day before. We had to settle for just acquiring some new spokes, and we finally got on the road - wobbly wheel and all - at about 4pm.
Ash proving once again that she can fall asleep absolutely anywhere.
Superglue to keep the rest of the spokes in place...
We discovered this awesome roadside snack: hot peanut butter with milk and sugar. It’s f#*king delicious. Ash noticed a local drinking it and asked for one and we couldn’t believe it. Gotta make this at home sometime.
This is our cookie bag. A lot of times during the day we’re in small towns and sometimes the roadside food stops look pretty sketch. We’re down to eat anything, but if we ate whatever food was available wherever we happened to get hungry, I think we’d get food sickness more often. On this trip we’ve both had one bout of full-on puky food poisoning, and a few other minor bouts of digestive issues. Nothing unusual about that, it happens every trip, a quick dose of Cipro set things right. But having a well-stocked bag of whatever biscuits and cookies we can find in the shops in the city, makes it so we can skip roadside meals in the countryside as needed, and be a little more choosy about where we eat.
Since we left so late, we only covered around 120km before dark. We stopped in a small town called ‘Debark’ on the edge of an area that looks pretty cool called the ‘Simien Mountains.’
You had me at peanut butter.
Outstanding trip report. Have a blast and stay safe!
Need a recipe, ratios, for peanut butter to milk and sugar.
Depends if you want to drink it, spoon it from the cup or suck it off the roof of your mouth
I have a lot of experience with essentially that same china moto from my time living in Ecuador. I learned really quickly to keep an eye on the spokes and the chain.
For bed bugs, you need to put all your clothes and stuff in a black trash bag and put it in the sun for as long as possible, the hotter the better. The heat will kiil the bugs and eggs.
Thanks for bringing us along on your epic adventure!
Glad you and Ashley are ok! I was starting to get worried.
Miguel gives good advice about the bed bugs. About the only want to kill them is with heat. Lethal temps have to normally exceed 122F. Regarding the bites, a topical corticosteroid cream might ease the itching.
Great writing and pictures as usual. The gas lines are insane! Do people ever get mad that you get to cut in front of the line, or are they just too curious to see some foreigners?
Btw, tell Ashley that we are all anxious to see some more writing from her!