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Change of Scene

Stage 32: Agra Miryam to Yabelo

A cool morning at 2300 m asl, albeit with broken cloud cover. We got away just before sunrise and shortly encountered our first of many hills on the day. A pretty good road surface all day, and surprisingly low traffic volume, other than right in the various villages and towns that we passed through.

Setting off with Alice, we ride together for the first hour or so; she then went on with Mike while I side-tracked into the second town we encountered to buy some airtime; a couple of locals were good enough to lead me to the appropriate shop down a side alley which I’d never have found on my own.

I’ve not mentioned this before, but an extremely common question thrown out to us is “where are you go?” At first I thought they meant to ask where are you from, but more recently figure it means just that “... where are you going?” We’ve tried replying Cape Town, and then shortened that to Nairobi. But even that seems to mystify many, so I’ve taken to just calling out the day’s destination (if it’s a town) or stick with Kenya. That seems understandable at least.

By the time I caught up with Alice at the lunch truck, the country had changed as we dropped elevation. Gone was the green, almost tropical lushness, and we’re back in acacia bush and savannah. Gone too is the press of humanity; the country now is much less populous, with goats and cattle (as well as a few camel) replacing the fruit crops through which we’d driven yesterday and cycled through in the early part of this morning. What houses or villages we see, seem much less prosperous. The rondavels are painted quite differently as well. We’re in a different region of Ethiopia.

Alice and I set off after lunch and end up completing the ride together; she the youngest rider and I the oldest. Although we don’t experience any issues, and we actually have a good ride, others aren’t so fortunate on the day. Fortunately no injuries, but certainly aggression, harassment make for a sour taste for some.

We camp in the grounds of the Yabelo Hotel; an establishment which it might charitably be said, has seen better days. However for us, camping on the grass gardens is a soft touch. TDA have secured a couple of rooms in which we can shower and clean up, so a relief after the warm day. Electrical power points to charge all the various gizmos and there’s a bar too...

Shepherd’s Pie for dinner - comfort food.

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