Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Up and Down

The Biblical Ethiopia section of the tour finishes here in Addis Ababa, a bustling centre of African government administration and commerce. We approached this hilly metropolis in a convoy of bikes from the city boundary on the northern rim. A lasting image of this terrain will be the carved sandstone formations and the winding roads that undulate up, over and around the hills. All the gutsy climbs are rewarded by free-wheeling descents during which one can take in the vista.

After the Blue Nile gorge, we had a laidback day which afforded most riders to peddle at a leisurely pace and stop for a friendly roadside coffee with local hospitality. At the nearest vilage, I opted for scrambled eggs laced with chilies and a macchiato that hit the spot. As ever, the presence of ferengi draws kids like paparazzi to a celebrity sighting. Further down the road, a group of us sipped a strong brew of coffee while our hostess burned frankincense. 

At camp, some riders decided to book into a nearby guest house overlooking a gorge. Here is the view. Not bad, eh? Two experienced TDA riders, South African Jos and Swiss Gabriele, invited folks to come and enjoy the view and explore the canyon.

Yesterday, we arrived here at the Addis golf club to rest our bones. This is where I bid farewell to my old chum Brian who will board a flight to chilly toronto this evening. Brian and his wife Lorrie began their African odyssey here during the famine of the 1980s. The impact of that experience is imprinted on them and I have been the beneficiary of their insights into and love of Ethiopian culture. I also credit Brian with shepherding me into Bahir Dar on a day when I had no energy whatsoever and every hill looked like Everest. Cheers Brian! A friend in need is invaluable; safe journey home.

1 comment:

  1. We're really enjoying all your stories Cam.Keep them coming xo