Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2072, Lowarengak – Omerate: Through No Man’s Land to Ethiopia!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Oct - 23 - 2016

Distance: 72.0 km
Ride time: 5:36:12
Average: 12.9 km/h
Max speed: 26.3 km/h
Total: 51312 km

I was very excited about today’s ride which would take me through a very remote corner of Kenya and into Ethiopia! After packing my tent I cycled through the tiny village of Lowarengak, looking for a bit of breakfast.

I found a local restaurant run by Cleophas – and energetic young man from the village who was spending most of the year studying in Nairobi. Now he was home for the summer holidays, and was eager to tell me about life in the area. I was even able to take a couple of photos of Cleophas and the local tribe women. What an interesting way to begin the day!

After saying goodbye to Cleophas I continued on the sandy path I had been riding yesterday. The path was ridable about 75% of the time – the rest of pushing.

Half way through the day I was passing the Todonyang catholic mission – the last stop in Kenya. My route description said the next 10 kilometers would be another sandy path towards a military building, then another 12 kilometers of no man’s land before entering Ethiopia. I had a hard time finding the right path towards the border, but with the help of my GPS I was back on the right track.

The temperature reached 37 degrees as I saw the Kenyan military post and went in to say hello. The border guards took half an hour to check my passport and make a few radio calls (this is well out of phone reception area) before letting me continue.

It was in no man’s land that three kids carrying AK47 riffles stopped me and asked for food and water. I happily shared a bit of both, thinking it would probably be wise to maintain a good atmosphere. The kids were friendly enough, and a minute later I continued.

20 minutes later I reached the Ethiopian border post where a military guy had a quick look through my passport. I’m not sure he understood much about visas, and I was told I would get my stamp at the immigration office in the next town.

At the Ethiopian side of the border they were building a big highway! Quite a surprise as there really isn’t any roads or civilization over on the Kenyan side. Oh well, maybe one day…

For now I was continuing on the construction road towards Omerate, the first town in Ethiopia. I road took me over the Omo river, and I felt very relieved that I had made it through the remote no man’s land without any problems. The tribes I met are known to fight each other, but luckily my ride was all peaceful.

Omerate might be a proper village with shops and a few cheap guesthouses, but there was no bank or ATM to withdraw money, and no place to buy a local sim card. No big problem though. I managed to change some US dollars in one of the shops, and phone reception will just have to wait a few more days.

What an adventure it was crossing this border between Kenya and Ethiopia. Now let’s see what cycling in Ethiopia will be like. I heard many stories from other cyclists – now I will get to experience everything myself!

Categories: Ethiopia, Kenya
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Suzanne Jager says:

    Glad you were able to get through that boring landscape without any problems. The road, if you can call it that, in no mans land, had to have been really hard to pedal in. Scary coming across kids with guns in the middle of no where with no one else around!! Wow, glad this part of your journey is over.

  2. Lars says:

    Boring? The Turkana/Omo area was one of the big highlights of my first trip across the continent.. 🙂

    Amazing bit of land!