Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2082 – 2093, Addis Ababa: Visa Problems and Birthday Celebrations

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Nov - 17 - 2016

I think Addis Ababa is the capital I have visited with the most construction (I haven’t been to China on this trip but I imagine that would be something similar). In every direction you look you see new buildings popping up. Sakti who have lived here for a number of years says that certain areas have changed beyond recognition. Pretty wild.

The traffic situation is pretty chaotic at times, but in general everything flows a bit better compared to Nairobi, Kenya where it was pretty impossible to move around during rush hour. They are building a fair numbers of new roads as well… which you might as well use as a football field before it really opens.

Each day I was moving around as I had a number of tasks to complete. First of all I went looking for a bike store to get my bike back in shape. Interestingly, despite it’s size of 3.3 million inhabitants there doesn’t seem to be a modern bike store in town. Instead I ended up at the market where a number of shops specialized in bikes. Luckily the friendly guys where not afraid to replace a number of broken spokes even though they had never seen a 29′ mountain bike wheel before.

My visa application for Egypt went straight through, and next I went over to the Sudanese embassy to try my luck there. I had read that you would be able to apply for a 15 day transit visa – not really enough to cycle through the whole of Sudan, but the plan was to extend the visa once in the country. I knew that a cyclist from Japan and another one from Spain got their visas just a few weeks before, but for some reason my first application was turned down. I was told I needed special approval from the Foreign Affairs in Khartoum before I could proceed. Didn’t sound too good…

One night I was celebrating my 33rd birthday and Sakti had even arranged a birthday cake. Thanks a lot for everything Sakti – what a show of Indian hospitality in the middle of Africa!

We also had time to visit the ET3AA radio club station at the Addis Ababa University of Technology. I got to know a couple of the students who where all eager to learn more about the hobby. Nice surprise with such enthusiastic people!

Even with some contacts in the US and in Russia trying to help me out with the Sudanese visa, things took longer than expected. I therefore decided to continue cycling through the northern parts of Ethiopia and hope that things will work out in my favour in the coming days.

Thanks a lot for all the help Sakti. I hope to be back soon to pick up my visa.

Categories: Ethiopia
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Having used both rim and disc brakes, what’s your preference?

  2. Hi Stephen! For simplicity I would vote for rim breaks… although I didn’t have a single problem with my disc breaks through all of Africa.