Leaving Ethiopia was something we’ve looked forward to for some time – not so much because we have anything against the country, but rather because we’d been held up in Addis Ababa for 10 days as we waited for extensive public holidays to come to an end so we could get our Sudanese visas.
That’s the upside – we were at last back on the road and heading north once more. Alas there were a couple of downsides as well. Firstly the young boys of northern Ethiopia get their rocks off by throwing them at us. Apparently it’s an affliction that’s got a lot worse over the last couple of years according to a local biker we encountered. He actually marched one off to the police station where the culprit couldn’t come up with any reason why he did it – just for kicks apparently. So we’ve had a smashed mirror and 4 or 5 body blows as a result of this local sport. It’s a bit of fun however chasing offenders across the fields on your motorbike when you do round on them. Ethiopians are good runners.
The second downside is that we’ve come down substantially in altitude from 3,000 metres to about 500 now. And with that the temperature has soared – 27/41 is the daily min/max we’re encountering. Once the effects of radiation off the tarmac and the impact of vehicle fumes are taken into account our travelling temperatures are in the high forties – enough to ensure we close all our clothing vents and keep our visors down lest we get burnt. This is expected to last from now all the way to the Mediterranean. And it’s not even the hot season!