Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2077, Konso – Arba Minch: Free as a Bird

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Nov - 08 - 2016

Distance: 84.3 km
Ride time: 5:12:14
Average: 16.2 km/h
Max speed: 52.6 km/h
Total: 51658 km

Yesterday I got my baptism of fire (and stones) by the Ethiopian kids. I had tried to prepare myself by reading other blogs and even talking to the German and American cyclists I met in the southern part of the country. The thing is, you can only prepare so much… it’s a whole other thing to actually be experiencing something yourself.

After a good night’s sleep and a big breakfast consisting of pasta, omelette, and cappuccino (yes, Ethiopian got a fair amount of Italian immigrants in the 19th century) I was rolling downhill towards Lake Chamo. At first the road was newly constructed asphalt, but then it turned into dirt for some 20 kilometers.

It was while cycling through the small villages along lake Chamo that I had my 2nd encounter with the infamous kids. Today they would pick up stones as soon as they saw me, and sometimes throw them. Then they would begin an intense chase, running after the bike while trying to steal things out of my bags. Wise from my first encounter yesterday, I had made sure that my bags were firmly closed and everything tied down with extra robe. The other difference compared to yesterday was that the road was more flat which meant I could get away from my chasers faster.

Still, every time I saw a group of kids standing at the side of the road I would get a butterflies in my stomach. That’s apparently how cycling in Ethiopia is…

10 kilometers from Arba Minch or “Forty Springs” the road climbed up towards a hill where the city looks out over the lake. A moment when there were noone around I was able to put my camera on timer and take this photo which I would entitle “Free as a Bird” 🙂

In Arba Minch I found a cheap tourist hotel with a nice Italian restaurant. I had a nice chat with the locals and once again I was thinking; cycling in Ethiopia is a mental challenge – the time spent off the bike in the cities is much more pleasant.

Categories: Ethiopia
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2 Responses so far.

  1. They keep you on their toes! As always, though, the scenery is fantastic!

  2. That’s a good point Stephen – the scenery in Ethiopia was fantastic from the first to the last pedal stroke.