Feb 8th, 2008

Watch out for the Donkey

by Maria
Posted in Ethiopia

EthiopiaBeautiful day of cycling today, just awesome! Entirely on gravel roads and with some very tough hills to tackle, it truly was one of the most difficult days on the tour so far, but the mountain views were just incredible. Riding through the towns was unbelievable as well! All of our energy was spent dodging the people, cars, donkeys, cars and goats weaving on and off the road. It’s hard to explain these sights and sounds, the excitement of being in such lively, foreign and interesting place. At the end of the ride, I rode past a man and his donkey. I guess I got too close to the donkey because he freaked out and darted out in front of me. Luckily, I managed to swerve and stay on the bike. I really would be the person who cycles a really tough day only to get taken out by a spooked donkey 50 m from the finish line. :D I could just hear the people back home….”Did you hear about Maria? She was trampled by a donkey!” :D

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, its evident everywhere you look. The TDA warned us that Ethiopia is also one of the most challenging countries on the tour. Traditionally, it has been the country where they have had the most illness, accidents and thefts. They also warned us to watch out for kids throwing rocks. On the contrary, our experience today could not have been nicer. Everyone we passed on the road was very friendly. One notable difference, the kids do not yell “hello,hello, hello”. They yell “You, you, you!”

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