Life Beyond Moyale...

Trip Start May 31, 2006
Trip End Oct 14, 2006

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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Well i left us just managing to roll into Ethiopia. The campsite we rolled into had no running water - as there is a drought about, so we all got drinks, chatted to a couple of very nice locals and contemplated bucket baths the next day (as after 4 days each and every one of us really wanted to be clean...especially after that dust you'd have all thought we were exceedingly well tanned with the layers of dirt on us). So the following day this being the 10th everyone went into action. Peter went to try and organise tyres from Addis, and the rest of us started cleaning the truck inside the main area and inside our kitchen as the dust had not left a corner undiscovered. Once that fun job was complete we took it in turns to take a bowl, and a kettle, and a jerry can of water into the shower room and bathe...effective enough for our purposes and very nice not to have to hide my mop of hair under my bandana for a day! During the day it became clear the only way tyres were going to be obtained at any reasonable price it would necessitate Peter going to Addis to buy them himself, which is a day and a half bus journey away, so it was decided that Ronnie (and Greg - his choice) would stay with the truck, and the rest of us would head to see the Mursi Tribe near Jinka in the lower Omo Valley. Before i left i had a quick pop down the main street in Moyale with Peter to get some food, and it seemed a fair sized town with a small market, some shops - the butchery (as they call it prefers to sell on the bone and there is so much fat on their meat it's so stringy but we bought some to BBQ anyway), and a string of drinking establishments, i was quite happy we would be moving out the following day.

So the next day we got in the bus at 7.30am and headed down a paved road to start with, at about lunch time we stopped for some food, my first taste of Ethiopian food which is basically a kind of pancake which you use as your cutlery and some meat and veg which gets poured onto it, all served on a metal platter...this first meal was not a selling feature it was fairly rank to put it mildly. After this intro to Ethiopian food the next month was looking ominous! We then continued our journey but on unpaved roads...little less comfortable especially as our bus had plastic seats, and gradually as you bumped along your stuff moved around the bus, so you were watching things and the music that they listen to here isn't quite to our taste...any of us! However the scenery was stunning...the mountains with faint mountains behind, the little huts. The hardest bit to describe but the most amazing to watch, but we passed through so many dry river beds, a few with a little water, but we are now headed into their wet season in Ethiopia so i'd say if we did the same route in a couple of months it wouldn't be quite so bare rivers (but it should be noted that the landscape is very green it doesn't look at all arid, unlike a lot of the areas we passed in Northern Kenya, this was a different world. We finally got into Jinka at about 8.30 in the evening with very numb behinds and very jaded as we had been told that we were going to have to pay more money the next day for a different vehicle although we already had this one, and with tight budgets there was outcry from the group, but we managed to move on (i have glossed over the scale of arguments occuring with Anthony our guide at this point). He found us a place to put our tents up for the night and took us to a restaurant which served us nice Ethiopian it does exist, although Sara still wasn't convinced of it's positive virtues, and we all headed to bed, hoping this tribe were worth the arguments that had been had.

The morning of the 12th July we got up and got told that our vehicle was an open back jeep that we would have to hold on for the entire 3hour round trip...i don't think the group could guffaw any more than they Anthony went to find alternative transport while we got breakfast, the fairly standard breakfast is omlette...i ordered a tea but it never seemed to turn up, so we made do and headed back to find our new transport, a 5 seater land cruiser for 7 + a that's more like it. So we all piled in, Ange in the gap between the two front seats, Jamie in the real front passenger seat, Indi, Tracey and I in the middle and Sara and Anthony in the back...holding on!

Unfortunately my time is up so i'm gonna have to continue this next time i can get to a computer...hopefully soon!
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