Ryton2Ethiopia.org 2009 – Day 3 and Day 4 diary.

(Taken from Ryton2Ethiopia 2009 diary pages at Ryton2ethiopia.org )

Day 3

The market – Museum – Prince Abi

Today we went to the indoor market – said to be the biggest market in Africa! It was so so busy and we were all a bit wary but we soon got used to it, and put our haggling skills to the test – particularly Alex T and Ashleigh who were at one particular stall for about 20 minutes!! We all felt famous because everywhere we turned everyone was staring at us, and we couldn’t believe how friendly the people were. There were so many sights, sounds and smells that we were overwhelmed but all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photograph by Zeresenay Alemseged, ©2006 Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH)
Photograph by Zeresenay Alemseged, ©2006 Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH)

We went to the museum which was really interesting as we got to see all different bones in a timeline from the very oldest to more recent times. We were all particularly fascinated by Lucy who was the 2nd oldest homoerectus skeleton in the world at 3.2 million years old. She was tiny!! And we were all surprised to hear she got her name from ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles!

When visiting Prince Abi, a very eccentric Rastafarian who claimed to be a prince, he told us that his restaurant/museum had cost 5,000 birr to build and was of an Indian design; it was beautiful! He was very welcoming, friendly and the food was delicious – he was vegetarian, which suited Lauren and Anna just fine! He also told us how he got his dreadlocks and by the end of the night none of us wanted to leave. The taxi ride on the way there was an interesting experience, half of us managed to squash in somehow and it was a very bumpy ride! On the way back we were pleased to have English music which, despite being Myley Cyrus, we were excited to hear!

Back at the hotel, we all joined in with the biggest, longest card game of ‘Cheat’ ever which brought us together even more as a group as we all had lots of fun.

Lauren and Georgia

Day 4

To Awash National Park

Today was an early start, considering we had very little sleep after the most spectacular thunderstorm you could ever imagine! We had to be all packed and have had breakfast by 8.30! Pancakes with marmalade seemed to be especially popular today. We all jumped back on the bus to start a new adventure! First we headed to the market to buy lunch, as well as onions, as we only had 3 to go between 20 people. Then we were ready to head for Awash, all excited at the possibility of seeing lions, and tigers and bears, oh my!! (had to be done!) The journey was unbearable with the heat hitting temperatures we never thought existed! After getting a bit lost, and lots of turns around, we stopped at the The Family Hotel in Debre Zeit. It overlooked a volcanic crater filled with water, making beautiful scenery which we could enjoy whilst having a nice, cool drink. At one of our stop offs, we saw another lake, complete with crocodiles on the waters edge!! After getting back on the road, we drove past about 20 dead camels, not sure how they came to their death, but it silenced us all. After that we needed a boost, so a sing song was in order. Songs led by the back of the bus included Disney classics, Grease medleys and R&B favourites.

Water Fall in Awash National Park by Karel JUSTA
Water Fall in Awash National Park by Karel JUSTA

Finally we arrived at the park, before the heat completely took it out if us. On arrival we spotted an oryx which got us all suitably excited! Some were also lucky enough to see some klipspringers, jumping across the road. As we were trying to find the campsite, we stumbled across a rather angry caged lion! (which we later found out was caged for a murder in Somalia!) We eventually found the camp site with a visitor waiting to greet us, a baboon! We couldn’t believe our eyes, and we nick named him Rafiki, for obvious reasons! We quickly got to work putting up the tents and cooking tea, on the menu was pasta and tomato sauce, mmmm! The inviting smell attracted some more of our neighbours, vervet monkeys, a few with their very cute little babies clinging on tightly! After tucking into our tea, we went to the Awash River and water falls, which were amazing to see. The spray from the falls was a refreshing moment for all! We headed back to camp to try and settle for the night, as we knew we had yet another early start – 5am! We sat for a while watching the lightning which seemed to be all around, and heading our way, yet it seemed to pass over us which we were all grateful for, sleeping only in tents! After the fire died down and the night closed in we headed into our saunas (oops we mean tents!) We all braced ourselves for a very uncomfortable, moist and sticky night. Lush! As another day’s adventure ended we looked forward to the next day including a safari style experience!

Anna and Viki S

(Taken from Ryton2Ethiopia 2009 diary pages)

For more information about Ryton2Ethiopia CLICK HERE

If you would like to make a donation CLICK HERE

Ryton2Ethiopia.org 2009 – Day 1 and Day 2 diary.

(Taken from Ryton2Ethiopia 2009 diary pages at Ryton2ethiopia.org)

Day 1

Arrival in Addis

Group photo before we leave
Group photo before we leave

After a ridiculously long day of being up and down in various different aircrafts and moving between continents, we finally arrived in Addis sleepy eyed and bushy tailed at around 9 o clock local time. This being after Leigh-Anne had her bag checked at both Newcastle and Amsterdam airports and toiletries confiscated after having bought them minutes before!

It took us a while to get our money changed and baggage found, when we finally did however, we also realised that we were without tents and they were still in Newcastle, bad crack!! We pressed on like brave soldiers toward the Yonas Hotel in the city centre on a true Ethiopian style bus- our baggage strapped to the top of the roof. Meheret, sister to Bisrat who we will get to meet in Bahir Dar, met us at the airport and helped us along toward the hotel. Once we had unloaded our bags and located our rooms, we chilled over a nice cold bottle of Mirinda- Ethiopia’s alternative to Fanta- and discussed our activities for tomorrow.

Screens in the second flight used to view TV shows and movies, play games and even view the flight path
Screens in the second flight used to view TV shows and movies, play games and even view the flight path

Alex T and Greg A

Day 2

Day in Addis

Our first morning was an early rise, after which we headed down to breakfast where we could choose between eggs, porridge and toast. Shortly after, we were split into groups to tackle our first real experience on the streets of Addis, where we were set the task of finding certain items for the cheapest price by haggling with the locals. Not as easy as it sounds! We also slowly became accustomed to the regular sights such as corn on the cob and farm animals on the street.

After purchasing our lunch for the day ahead, which consisted of gourmet fresh bread, bananas and oranges, we were given a spare hour to explore the local surroundings. Whilst doing so we stumbled upon one of the most violent football matches we’ve ever seen! A pitch which was covered in pot-holes, muddles and sharp rocks which didn’t seem to faze the locals as they threw themselves into vicious tackles.

After the football match ended we then headed off in the mini bus to the Entoto. What an experience this was, with children climbing on the bus and clinging on. In the mountains there were spectacular views of Addis and we were treated well by the children living in the mountains, who showed us how to crack a whip in style – not that any of us picked it up! On our return to the hotel, we stopped at the market to do some haggling which was quite an experience, as we were constantly surrounded by the locals trying to get us to buy what they have to offer. A funny moment when at the market was when Jack was continuously referred to by the locals as ‘Harry Potter’, which the whole group found hilarious; Jack, not so much! Later on at night, we ventured to the ‘Zebra Grill’ where we were all mildly surprised by how delicious the local cuisine was. Overall the first day in Addis was an eye opener to say the least, but an enjoyable day all the same, from haggling with the locals to experiencing the top of the picturesque Ethiopian mountains the day was a complete success.

Jack & Alex R

(Taken from Ryton2Ethiopia 2009 diary pages)

For more information about Ryton2Ethiopia CLICK HERE

If you would like to make a donation CLICK HERE

New Toy.

Today we my first outing on my new bike… I’m sure none of you actually care about this fact however I was quite excited about this so I’m going to tell you about it anyway.

I’m very must a new starter when it comes of Mounting biking; about three months ago I bought a bike from my flat mate for next to nothing.  It was one of them cheap £79.99 things that are always on offer at Harfords.  I had been using it to get to work and back but it became apparent that it was not going to last me long the way I had been riding it.  When I found out my company did a Cycle the Work scheme it was time to get myself something that won’t fall apart on me when I was riding up a hill.

I got myself a Carrera Kraken; with Suntour XCR 120mm travel fork with magnesium lowers, 30mm stanchions, Adjustable pre-load, rebound damping and remote lockout, 27 speed, SRAM X5 front mech, X5 triggers, and X5 rear mech, Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, wavy rotors, 180mm front, 160mm rear AND Truvativ Isoflow chainset with Powerspline bottom bracket.  Sounds good?  Just don’t ask me what the hell it all means because I just don’t know.  Basically I got me a voucher for £700 popped into Halfords picked what seems like a good bike and got loads of acessiores; Panya rank and bag, clothing etc etc.  So today was here maden voyage from Gateshead to Newburn and back.  Camera on my back…

First trip out so I thought I would get a nice picture of my new toy.

New Toy

Anyone out there into there monuntian biking got any advise for a new starter I would be more that happy to hear it.

%d bloggers like this: