Finally I am forgetting dates and all and as I don’t have my diary here I only know when I left you last and therefore what to tell you aprox.

Khartoum was a quickly, met Didier there on his way up on a F650 Dakar and he even met Iris and Florian, so I am getting closer to them. Didier has a website: http://www.ride4kids.t2u.com

I rode from Khartoum  to the customs town in Ethiopia in one day, sleeping in the customs house there and trying the local food called Njera and only paying 1 us Dollar to get the bike in, I like this country.

As I tried Njera, today I was going 10 km faster then the bikes max speed as I was helping it go in the right direction. I drove to Gonder as after 30 km’s I caught up with Tour d’Afrique, http://www.tourdafrique.com, some cycle tour I heard of in Cairo meeting one of the truck drivers. They are cycling from Cairo to Capetown in 100 days. I joined them for the day and night celebrating one of the cyclists 40th birthday.

Driving little km’s yesterday and wanting to catch up with Iris and Florian who are probably in Addis, I opened the throttle for two days on unbelievable bad roads hitting stones and almost hitting kids saying “youyouyou” all the time as I raced by. On the way I visited the Blue Nile Falls which are only on half it strength because they build a dam right before the falls! AFRICA. After crossing the Blue Nile Gorge, another African piece of road construction I raced to Addis over some new Chinese Tarmac!
Arriving in Addis at the brothel and Backpackers place called Bell Air. I met Iris and Florian including same 3 Dutch couples with cars including Bert and Francouise who I met in Dahab.

3 days in Addis where enough to quickly check some mail, fix the bike as one of my valve covers broke in two when checking the valves, I glued it with liquid metal. I tried to find something on the Merkato – the largest open air market in the world, where you apparently also be able to buy an AK47, which I would love to have to lay down same “youyouyou”-ers – to fix the cover. I did but they wanted too much for it (60 birr) so I walked away. Some streets further they came with the piece again and I took all my change out of one pocket (5,5 birr) and they said okay!!! My best bargain so far!

Iris, Florian and I agreed to travel together for a while so of we went and after 60 km my glued valve cover broke making me loose a nice spray of oil. We pulled over at a hotel, had lunch and had a look at what to do. Behind the hotel the three best fabricators of Ethiopia where working and reproduced a valve cover with the piece from the Merkato. Afterwords I wanted to give them 10 birr each and they said no to it. Send us the picture you just took… This was magic!

We drove more down south staying a few nights in Arba Minch watching the big Croc’s there and loosing the way on our go to Yavello. Which made us drive through some of the most unspoiled county sides of Ethiopia where the “youyouyou”-tribe did not exist and some even run away as a whiteface asked them for the way! One problem was we did not fill up (STUPID) as it was only a 150 km to Yavello. 20km before the petrol station mine gave up but Florian and Iris had enough giving me a liter… I felt so stupid! I even read Chris Scott’s book, AMH, which tells you to always fill up even if you only drove 20kms.
We slept in the little town of Agre Marjam and set of to Kenya the next morning.

The most boring stretch in a long time is from Yavello to Moyale, all tarmac! We crossed the borders without many hassles and start on the most dangerous part of the trip tomorrow.
As there is no convoy anymore we left on our own, without others as the trucks now a days don’t go via Marsabit but via Wajir. They call it a road and it is the transit route to Ethiopia but you can hardly call the football-sized boulders a road! We arrived in Marsabit in time but tired and stayed in a mission got some cash the next day and only drove 100kms to Laisamis as we started late. From Laisamis we made it to Maralal out of the danger zone apparently. No, we did not go to Isiolo as we wanted to do some more off road! So we made a Circle to Lake Baringo, where Florian and I did some work on the bike and I decided to go to Mweiga to see if there still was a gliding-field around and Florian and Iris went to Uganda.

Tarmac again to Mweiga but nice and interesting views so worth it. Arriving in Mweiga it was easy to find the strip, a bit more difficult to find the house of Peter, the owner. I could fly on Thursday, so I waited a day, drove the other day around Mt Kenya a very beautiful circle of 360 kms!
Thursday was the worst day of the week to fly, but at least I made three short flights again after 4 month! And I can still do it. The gliding club is for sale BTW (I tell you, VERY tempting!)

And from Mweiga I tried to cross the Arbedele National Park to Hell’s Gate NP, as there is a road through the park that is a “main” road, But they would not let me Dam iT. So I drove around and as I was on my way south I decided to skip Hell’s gate now and go to Nairobbery to have a check up in the Hospital as since I entered Kenya I have severe abdominal Cramps and the running waters. So here I am…

In the last days I crossed the equator 5 times, passed the planned halfway route! 13000km and having shit loads of fun! See you all probably from Lake Malawi!
In the mean while I will try to develop some pictures in Nairobi and put them online.

Stand By

CU under the Cu

Frank

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2 Responses to “Crossing Africa Newsletter VIII”

  1. Manu says:

    Hi there! Very nice trip you’re doing!!! We will also cross africa (land rover) and we will leave in september. You can visit our web site and add it to your links if you like it!!
    http://www.landofafrica.ch

  2. Manon says:

    hey hey!! hoe is het daar?? heb ik onze weddenschap al gewonnen? ik hoop je snel te horen. geniet en tot snel kuzz

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