Feb 24th, 2008

Goodbye Ethiopia

by Maria
Posted in Ethiopia

Cycling in EthiopiaEthiopia; so far the country that has surprised us the most. When we thought of Ethiopia, we thought of those images of famine and drought we saw on TV…nothing else. It is a desperately poor country, but there is so much more to it, to see and to learn. First of all, it’s stunning. The mountainous landscape is literally jaw dropping, for a cyclist it’s truly world-class. There is incredible history and culture here. Lalibela is fascinating and well deserving of its Unesco World Heritage Site status. There is also Axum, Harar, and the Simien mountains.

ConversationAdmittedly, it can be difficult at times. There is a lot of begging, and many in the group have had items stolen. We’ve all had more then one kid throw a stone at us, but as we said before, we really think that it has a lot to do with attention. The friendlier and more outgoing we were, the better our experiences were. There have been some complaints in the camp about the lack of privacy as well. (Wherever we camped, we were quickly surrounded by locals who would basically just watch us for hours). To be fair though, how often do they see 60 cyclists come through, in fancy helmets and odd clothing? If you were sitting at your neighborhood café and the circus came through, wouldn’t you take a peak? They’re just curious. We were so curious about them that we spent thousands of dollars and put our lives on hold to come here.

Ethiopia is a beautiful country, with much to offer. We will be back. We must finish the bike ride we started. ;)

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