Not massively eventful today, I rose at around 7am and by the time I was ready to head out it was probably closer to 8. I stopped in the usual roadside wooden kiosk for a “macchiato” as they call it here, which is a milk and coffee mix but the sugar to liquid ratio is bordering on ridiculous! I tried my best at giving my fellow patrons a laugh before my departure and attempted to spoon some of the sugar that was yet to dissolve back out of my glass, it seems my silly antics produced the desired affect as the cold workers that were preparing for their busy days roared with laughter, operation James make a fool of himself was a success!
With a wave of farewell to all of the guys still drinking their coffee I set out into the cold morning. It was overcast but relatively flat to begin with and rode away from Yabelo in good spirits and onward to today’s destination which was a town called Mega. Just how “Mega” it will be remains unknown at this time but by the looks of my map app (maps.me) it looks a lot smaller than the town I’m leaving and mega is certainly not a word that I would associate with Yabelo, maybe “Smega” by the pungent aroma that fills my nostrils but certainly not the former.
I think that the proverbial “corner” I have been attempting to turn since my departure from Addis Ababa is finally coming to an end as I rode throughout the morning feeling happier about the challenge I had set for myself.
I think it’s important to state that I have never felt the need to give up, take a bus, or fly to a exotic island and sit on my arse for the foreseeable future more on this African adventure than I have on any previous trip I have made. When I rode around the world for 403 days tallying up 24,929 miles and ensuring that every inch of land that was traversed was under my own steam (ok apart from when I was picked up by the chinese police, but that’s another story) I felt amazing, truly. Sure there were ups and downs as you can expect and there were times that I fantasised about public transport but in all honesty there was NEVER a time that this would have become a reality. I was determined and sure that I would achieve my goal, but this trip has so far proven to be on a different level entirely. I’m pretty sure that after a week or so more I will have firmly acclimatised to things and settle down to my normal rhythm and of course I will never give up no matter how hard things get but I’ve had thoughts, REAL thoughts, of taking buses, skipping over sections, and of course just going home to re-evaluate what I’m doing with my life. Anyway I’m sure it’s all just a phase and before long I will really start enjoying my daily life as I had on the previous cycling adventure, and well if it doesn’t change it’s only a few months of my life to endure before I ride into Cape Town and my final destination! Are you going to give up James?? NEVER!! 😎
And back to my day…
As I said it was pretty uneventful and the morning passed quickly. It seems the closer I get to the Kenyan border the more sparsely populated it is and I have to admit to my absolute delight. I finally have a chance to enjoy the beautiful Ethiopian mountains in peace and pedal my way through miles and miles of nothing. When I do come across the odd village, the chirp of “you you you” and “where do you go?” is almost welcome, almost, and I happily wave and smile at the onlookers as I ride past.
I spotted a second dead hyena today, to my dismay, as I was just considering the possibility of camping for the first time since entering Ethiopia. The lack of populous in this area would allow me to sneak off of the road without being seen although from time to time I think there are no people on the land and then someone pops out of nowhere. Without being racist their colour does make them blend in with the terrain quite nicely so it’s possible when I look across the seemingly empty land it is actually dotted with inhabitants that can see old Whitey here a mile off.
It continued to be overcast and cold today but worst of all was the headwind that came back in force, my average speed dropped off quite considerably but I only have 60 miles to cover today so I’m not concerned too much.
At the end of the day and just before entering Mega I climbed back up to 2000 metres and after getting to the top I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being above everything and the views were worth every metre. There’s something about mountains that makes me feel good, no matter which part of the world I am in being up at the top of everything around cleanses my soul. My body purrs in delight, or possibly I’m shivering as the temperature of an already cold day is starting to drop fairly quickly. I descended only 100 metres or so before arriving at the town of Mega and coast into the first hotel I see feeling more content than I have on the trip so far. Ahhhhhh maybe things are going to turn out ok after all?!
The room is nice, wifi is advertised but not working, dinner is sparse as I am refraining from eating much meat at the moment seeing as a their hygiene and facilities are pretty bad and so I’ll just play it safe for the time being, eggs and bread therefore will suffice for tonight. My shower is forfeited as its so cold and the water comes in cold and dirty but not smelling of eggs which is a surprise so just a face wash and brushing of the teeth will do nicely.
Oh and I just swallowed a mosquito that flew straight into my mouth and almost choked me so that’s desert sorted, time for bed!