Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Road To The Sun

"The Road To The Sun"  in Glacier National Park is a breathtaking drive for the million or more visitors to the park every year. Riding over several mountain passes of Ethiopia, reaching 10,000 feet, have been incredible, equalling Glacier each time. The good gravel roads are far from the transport trucks or tourists, but are worth every effort it takes to get a motorcycle from Seattle to Ethiopia.

The Afar region of Ethiopia is equally interesting. Planet Of the Apes and the Apollo Moon Landings :) were filmed in the area. I find the topography of Ethiopia truly amazing: elevations in the range of  4500 meters, the famous Blue Nile River, and one of Earth's lowest points below sea level. I also journeyed to the National Museum to see " Lucy " as well as the area where she was found.

When in Addis promoting tourism, I was on local TV and radio. This was after a day trip to Ethiopia's crater lakes, a coffee ceremony, dancing, music, and of course lots of local brewed spirits...
In Addis I also put on another fuel pump and waited for DHL and my new GPS. Next it was on to Lalibela, famous for the rock hewn Churches. These cave churches date back to the 13th century. Medieval and monolithic, they are still places of devotion and pilgrimage. Now a world heritage site, the nine churches draw visitors from all over the world.



These women are cooking delicious food.

The coffee ceremony is 3 cups of coffee starting with really strong !!! It is usually served with some popcorn!

Parts and repairs for the BMW have been very extensive. The exhausting search for parts and being stranded in the "Middle of Nowhere," with a motorcycle I cannot trust, has not helped my travels. Now on my 3rd fuel pump, I keep an extra one in my parts supply. Toyota (Japan) makes a fuel pump at $480.00US. Germany / Bosch,  as well as China are making the fuel pumps...None have lasted and I now have to put my trust in the high quality Chinese fuel pump made for my BMW .... ugh!

At the border, visa issues did not allow me into Djibouti, and on June 1st I will have exhausted my visa for Ethiopia and enter Sudan, travelling to Egypt via Khartoum. I still want to hike Ethiopian's Simen Mountains, see Lake Tana, and visit the ancient city of Axum with ruins dating back from the 1st and 13th century before I leave, as well as view Gondar's, the walled city of palaces and churches from the 17th century.
Ian is one of 3 south Africans riding scooters to Ireland from Cape Town South Africa.

Today's Ethiopia continues to be blessed with astonishing beauty. Some 84 languages are spoken among its 92 million people, compared to 1935 when Ethiopia was just 15 million people. Home to its own calendar, Ethiopians are very proud!  It's 2005 here.  The day starts at sunrise (6:00 am) for us, but for them its 12 o'clock. One hour past sunrise its 1 o'clock and so on. The days are spent in the fields where everyone is involved, even 4 year- olds are responsible for herding the families' live stock. The cities are filled with coffee shops, night clubs, markets, business men, prostitutes, and traffic. Its a stark contrast to the rural areas, but the city is also a place where you can see farmers walking there heard along a main street to a market.

I have less than two weeks before leaving for Sudan and already wish I could stay longer.
Love Garth

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


       I hope you enjoy the pictures; they probably say more than I can. I had a difficult time getting into Ethiopia. Kenya is working on the roads but it's going to be a few more years before I would make a recommendation . The road is called "The Bandit Highway." If you want details, just google it, it's in Kenya.
       After a long truck ride with the bike in the back, I stayed at a VERY NICE hotel in Nairobi, the Nomad Palace Hotel,  complete with a glass elevator, and balcony over the slums . At
$20.00 it seemed odd for such a place to be there. I found out that it is how pirates off the coast of Somalia invest their money... not wanting to support them I left the next day.
I am staying healthy , and will blog more when I have internet and not worried about the rain  coming down on me... It rains a LOT here, and drivers are coming into the place I am at and telling me to hurry before the road washes out again.. I have 80 miles to try and cover today... :)

This photo is of a Mersee woman in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia. Women start cutting their lips at the age of 14 and they remove their two lower teeth to help support the clay plate.