Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2102: Addis Zemen – Gondar, Ethiopia

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Dec - 11 - 2016

Distance: 91.7 km
Ride time: 5:25:12
Average: 16.9 km/h
Max speed: 48.2 km/h
Total: 52884 km

The day started with a climb straight up to 2300 meters, completely with hair pins and everything. I tried to enjoy the climb as this is really my last days in the mountains before reaching the Sahara desert! I do love climbing – if only those Ethiopian kids would live me alone… On the steep slopes a group of 10 kids quickly gathered, running all around me while screaming like crazy.

Luckily I was able to get rid of them on the next descend and I was also able to stop and take some photos. Lovely landscape around here!

I have now been cycling for 9 days without a break since leaving Addis Ababa. I feel tired, both physically but certainly also mentally after dealing with the challenging kids all the way. It seems like you can never really relax out here, as you are always looking left and right, forward and backwards, checking if the kids are getting ready with their stones.

On the other hand, after 1500 km of cycling in Ethiopia, nothing really bad has happened to me yet. With that in mind I wouldn’t say Ethiopia is a dangerous place to cycle, but certainly not an easy place either. In fact, I would give the country the honor of being the hardest one to cycle in the whole world.

The final climb up towards Gandor seemed to go on forever. I thought I would be able to see the royal city around the next corner, but they hit it well. Probably a wise idea since the city is home to an impressive royal fort.

I was climbing the final meters up towards the fort with a sense of ecstasy. Yeah, I had finally made it through Ethiopia, my body and mind still intact after all the challenges!

It turned out this was the biggest graduation weekend in Ethiopia, and the first few hotels I asked were full. Luckily persistence turned out to work as I just kept asking and finally found a nice room for the night. Having reached this northern outpost of Ethiopia, I celebrated with pizza and a beer.

My plan is to take the bus back to Addis Ababa tomorrow. Although things are taking longer than expected, it looks like like I will be able to apply for my visa for Sudan at the embassy during next week – that is at least what my contact in Khartoum tells me. Keep your fingers crossed!

Categories: Ethiopia
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One Response so far.

  1. Another tough day in the saddle. 🙂