Trip Start Jan 10, 2012
91Trip End May 15, 2012
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February 20, 2012
Stage 30 105km Gorge Camp to Addis Ababa
Today I felt great
hilly and there was headwind. We would climb a hill and after reaching the
crest bomb down the other side and cross the bridge at the bottom trying to
carry as much momentum up the next hill. Repeat 20-30 times and that was our
day in a nutshell. Work, rest, work, rest. Interval training.
At the 92km mark we all met for a 12km downhill convoy into
Addis Ababa. Our trucks drove in front and behind us through the sprawling city
to our campground. The campground sign boasted a restaurant, hotel, and
surprisingly “bowling”. We discovered that the “hotel” wasn't and that if we
wanted a room we would have to look elsewhere. The grounds looked nice so we
decided to camp. After setting up the tent Rosalyn returned from the filthy
cold showers to tell me that they had run out of water. No shower. One of the
staff was walking about covered in shampoo as the water had shut off just after
she had lathered up. That decided us to get the hotel. We have now checked in,
showered and feel human again. We fixed the hole in Rosalyn’s therma-rest and
our electronics are recharging. We went out for a delicious dinner of “fasting”
ingera (vegetarian only offered for some reason this week) and cheeseburgers
and salad. All dishes with generous amounts of jalapeno peppers added.
Addis Ababa is astounding.
It is huge. Home to many NGOs, base for the UN, divisions of the World Bank and
the African Union. It is unbelievably busy and our walk from the restaurant to
the hotel after dark was made difficult by the throngs of young people all over
the sidewalks and streets. There are street vendors with their wares laid out
on sheets. There are beggars. There are buses and minivans pulled over blocking
traffic to pack more people in until completely overcrowded going
who-knows-where. There aren’t any traffic signals and people walk brazenly
through the moving vehicles. More of this pandemonium tomorrow