Exhausted in Ethiopia

We continue our Tour d’Afrique charge through Ethiopia . We are now in Arba Minch, a lakeside town, at a hotel/campsite. It scores highly on the exotic: baboons, frangipani trees,  maribou storks. It fails dismally on the necessities: water, power and food.

I am in an internet cafe – crammed in with my fellow TDA riders – yup we are an Acronym – catching up and trying to get a quick blog in before dinner.

We’ve been in Ethiopia for about 18 days now and on every day’s riding have climbed more than the height of Snowdon. We have had several – 1750m + days and one memorable 2502m climb – the last two metres counted! Up till yesterday it was all on road with the usual distances 100 – 150km, averaging around 120km. Yesterday was off road, 106km but only 997m climbing which was great.

So, basically, I am knackered. The scenery has continued to be amazing and beautiful. It has transformed to red dirt, small farms and banana plantations and much more dense forestation.  We are here for another three days and so it should change again.

The children are still a problem. Yesterday, I had a bad half an hour going through small villages – rock in the face, lots of hard slaps, and three boys masturbating at the roadside – although that was actually really really funny.

Back on the bike tomorrow morning, trying not to think about it as we have a seven day stretch with no breaks. We are almost in Kenya where we encounter bad roads and rain. That should add to the “adventure”. The staff here use the word adventure as a double up for extreme hardship….

Photos will have to wait till Nairobi as access is pretty slow. Off now for food and rest.

Later, I wrote a book about the experience. Dodging Elephants is available here. 

2 comments on “Exhausted in Ethiopia

  1. tom h on

    have only just discovered your blog!!!! Sound like you are in heavenly hell. Being slapped, whipped and stoned sounds grim, mind you, a lot better than what’s happening here! keep it up xx

  2. Jo-Anne Witcombe on

    Hi Alice,

    I have just read all your blogs as got a bit behind due to Liberia and Gambia – u write beautifully – sounds like you’re having an absolutely unforgettable experience – still not tempted to do it myself! me and John think of you often – especially when we drive past your house to go to the pack horse and think to text you before remembering…Has John told you that me and him got engaged in the Gambia!!? The wedding is in September in the peak district – just spent a whole day looking at venues – saw 5! Anyway, keep it up – look forward to more blogs – especially if another toilet blog turns up!! Lots of love from me n John.xx (Mongo)!!


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