Matt & Nat's wheelie big adventure!

Addis Ababa

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After a very hectic 70km ride in heavy traffic, where I experienced rather a lot of sexual harassment, we have arrived in the centre of the fourth largest city in Africa, Addis Ababa. We now need to get Sudan visas, and a prerequisite of applying is having obtained Egyptian visas. Staff attendance at the African EU summit means that Egypt vis [...]

Winery and world records

Ethiopian pyramids
We had a good day yesterday: An abnormal lack of headwind meant that we cycled an easy 90km by lunchtime and then we were amazed to come across an upmarket winery and restaurant with a rather good cabernet sauvignon. We only got hit by three rocks and Matt managed to catch two of the culprits and teach them a bit of a lesson. Matt is covered [...]

Kids behaving badly

Thought we were back on tarmac - but no!
We’ve been riding up and down mountains from dawn to dusk and the harassment and aggression has continued unabated. The children are not quite as bad as they were in the Omo Valley, in that we sometimes get ten minutes peace and they don’t follow us for as long, but we’re still being hysterically yelled at for money all day [...]

I’m a cyclist, get me out of he...

Unfortunately they don't stop when they reach us - they touch, hit, run alongside for ages, getting increasingly hysterical because we won't give them money or water.
It is taking some effort to adjust to the Ethiopian lack of boundaries and personal space: When we stop, someone will grab our bike to try and have a ride; people walk into our room unannounced. Far worse is the children, who run alongside all day long aggressively begging and shouting hysterically, throwing stones, hitting us and the pannier [...]

Lower Omo Valley

Hello ladies
There are many different colourful ethnic groups in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, making this a very interesting region to cycle. There are a lot of bare-breasted women and a few naked men, all decorated with shells, beads and clay. Animism is still practised by most of the population here, although we are still woken well before dawn each day [...]

The Jade Sea

About as much fun as it looks to push a 55kg bike in 40 degrees through.
We spent a week slowly riding/walking up the boiling hot sandpit that is west Lake Turkana. Tsetse flies left large painful bites, bore water gave us the shits, the intense heat provided headaches/heat rash and huge acacia thorns punctured all of our tyres. However we were well rewarded with vibrant Turkana tribes, volcanic landscapes, camels [...]

Lodwar at last

These stunning ladies came singing and dancing down the hill
We have reached the only town in Turkanaland, wild and dusty Lodwar, and we are camping with a friendly local warmshowers host, John, and his family. The ride here was very rewarding but challenging, on corrugated or soft sand in extreme heat and our route north of here is even more remote. We may not have a mobile signal to post updates for [...]

Turkanaland

We gave this lady a bottle of water - by the end of the day we'd given away all our food and water (again)
We’re now well off the beaten track in Turkanaland, one of the most inhospitable parts of Africa and a fascinating region to cycle. The area is in the heartland of tribal Africa and the colourful Turkana people still live as they did centuries ago. The climate is extremely hot and dry – over 40 degrees in the shade and we are melting. We gave [...]

The northern badlands

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We descended on a spectacular road from the high Rift wall into the Rift Valley and onto the arid Turkana Plains. The strong warrior traditions of the tribal people in this region have led to a huge amount of intertribal conflict and ongoing gun battles. Two Swiss cyclists came down this road ten days ago and were shot at, so we hitched a lif [...]

I had a farm in Africa

Our stone cottage for 3 nights :-)
We’re now in the mountainous area where the fastest Kenyan marathon runners come from and train (i.e. not easy riding!). We’re staying on a lovely farm near Kitale where a British lady and her Kenyan husband do a lot of charity work and have kittens, puppies, sheep and fostered street children running around. When we arrived, filthy and exhau [...]

How are you, mzungu?

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We crossed into Kenya this morning, after the usual lengthy discussion at the border when we try to enter a country on a different passport to the one we used to exit the previous country. The Kenyan jobsworth officials refused to budge and refused us entry on our Australian passports so we’re still Brits on tour. So far the hills are much st [...]

Tropical heat

View from the road of the plains
We’ve been riding on the bumpy hard shoulder of the busy single-lane main highway between Kampala and Nairobi. We’d forgotten how hard it is to exercise in the heat and have been getting really dehydrated. One of my favourite things about being back on the road is the encouraging grins, waves and thumbs-ups I get from the lovely local women I [...]