Day 24 - Addis Ababa
Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
68Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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Distance Travelled: 2950km
Frame of Mind: Impatient
The tag line for Ethiopia in their tourist literature is "13 Months of Sunshine". They can claim this on account of the fact that they have a different calendar to most of us. It consists of 12 months of 30 days and another month of 5/6 days. Nice and neat eh? Presumably they also get 13 monthly paychecks? But let's get back to those "13 Months of Sunshine"....
Let me read to you what the lonely planet has to say about Addia Ababa specifically:
"But it's also a colourful and vibrant city that grows on you surprisingly quickly - helped undoubtedly by its gorgeous climate of seemingly perpetual blue skies and cool highland air."
Now let me show you a picture:
Every day. Ok, so if I do choose to visit during the month with the heaviest rainfall then what should I expect but really...this is Africa!
Have done very little since being here. There is something about large cities that make me sit on my backside and do nothing, despite the myriad things to do. I have managed a couple of things, in between the rainstorms.
Went to the British Embassy in Addis to get letter of introduction for Sudan but they were on holiday. August Bank Holiday, which means that Reading Festival is on, which made me a little homesick, but only a little, as it was wet and cold here and I was surrounded by lots of unwashed people and noise (albeit Tigranian noise).
Went to the Ethiopian National Museum. Met a chick there called Lucy. Quite fit, but a lot older than she looked and she's got lots of kids...and grand kids.
Bought some books. A big relief, I was getting bored of re-reading random passages from the less-than-useless 'Africa on a Shoestring'.
Picked up my Egyptian visa. Had to go at 3pm, which neatly coincided with yet another downpour of diluvian proportions meaning that approximately 75% of my clothes and footwear is now wet with little prospect of drying in my cold, damp little hovel in the overpriced Baro hotel. One interesting thing about the hotel is the game of 'what will the corridor smell like when I return'. It is generally a 50/50 toss up between stale vomit and giardia.
Got my first puncture and a new chain (was going to be 100USD according to the mechanic but I magically found one for 20 down the road) and new tyre (which I'm not going to fit till I get near Sudan). The battery is shot but I figure who needs indicators anyway?
Sis's birthday. Happy birthday Claire.
Ate food, drank St Gorges, read, slept.
Fixed the two more punctures that were caused by my 'fixing' the original. My two large screwdrivers arfe less than ideal as tyre-irons
I've changed my plans quite a few times but if all goes well at the Sudanese embassy tomorrow morning I shall travel out to the ancient walled city of Harar for no particular reason than it sounds cool and it was in a book I read once. It means a 1100km round trip to Addis but that's ok as I will be waiting for my Sudanese visa anyway.
Then off to Bahar Dar, Gonder, The Simien Mountains, Lalibella, possibly Axum and then Sudan.
Oh, and it's raining again. Rubber-suffin-nuffin-grubbin-rinkel-tuffer.
Where I stayed