Passports in our hands again ….

Day 91 – Happy Birthday Anne-Marie M. – God bless.

L: Ok, that was not pleasant. So, seems something disagreed with me or I had a bout of food-poisoning. Yikes, so our plans to drive back in to Addis have been shelved for another day, while I stay in bed to recouperate. Steve has been amazing, even though I know that he really wants to get going.

S: This morning, we see on the tracking system that our passports have now left the facility in Johannesburg so we hope that the package will be put on a plane to Addis today……..

I eventually managed to get Lesley to have some black Rooibos (red bush) tea and a small bowl of muesli with powdered milk. We did not risk going in to breakfast as we are not sure how she got so sick.

It is raining here and so a perfect day to stay indoors. We will try again tomorrow to get going on our way.

Later, after a walk, I made some lamb sausage from our little freezer, cooking in the back of the bakkie and gave Lesley some smash with it. It is really quiet so a good place to rest – it is amazing how little traffic noise there is at this hotel, yet we are just up the hill from the last one.

We are still watching for the passports, but no further news yet. We are getting everything ready and so e-mailed the insurance to put the bakkie back on comprehensive insurance for our time in Kenya again. They would only cover up to Kenya.

I have still not had a reply from the shipping agents in Mombasa, so I have sent another e-mail.

We are lucky to have a few videos on the computer for when there is nothing on TV and I have managed to read a lot, sitting here.

Early to bed as we have a long day ahead of us in the morning. Lesley has been dozing most of the day already.

Day 92 –

L: Wow, what a storm in the early hours of the morning, pouring rain, thunder and lightning and Steve sleep soundly through it all.
I was feeling a lot better so we got up early, showered and packed the car. We did not go to the hotel for breakfast again, just in case…..

We found out this morning that our passports have arrived in Addis Ababa – that thankful sign.

When Steve went to pay the final bill, I realised that it was only 7.15am, but we were grateful to be on the road already.
We drove from Adama Nazareth to the turn-off at Mojo and towards Addis. Things were slow, and the roads were wet and slippery, but after an hour of driving, we were stuck in a really bad traffic jam and realised that there had been an accident, a head-on and only 200m further, another one. What a tragedy – so unnecessary. We were not going anywhere for quite a while, but finally the police got the stop and go system in place and we got our turn. It took 3 hours to get to DHL near the airport, which was about 88kms.

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S: I have never been so happy to have a package in my hands, Yay, we have our passports back.

I had researched an hotel for last night as we were going to travel to Addis before Lesley took ill, so now we went there for lunch. The Tizeze Hotel was lovely and lunch was really good with a proper cappuccino. Neither of us had had breakfast or coffee so the early lunch was appreciated.

L: Now to get back out of Addis. Not sure if we mentioned before. There are so many people here, alongside the road, that just look so sad. A lot of them have very serious disabilities and are in wheelchairs, or lying alongside the roads or begging in the streets. It is tragic and possibly a result of polio or land-mine accidents too.

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Addis Ababa’s new railway line being built

S: We pushed on and had decided to try to get as far as Awassa if it worked out. Back at Mojo, we decided to keep going as there were a few hours of daylight left.

L: At 4.30 pm, I said to Steve that it seems to be getting dark already, but he said that the sun was still high in the sky. Yep, but then the clouds got darker and it started to rain. I knew Steve was tired, but he felt that we should go on. The biggest problem is that nobody uses headlights or even dims in the rain so it is so much harder to see them at a distance, not to mention the donkey-cars and all the other apparatus used to transport people and products. We saw some donkeys standing still on the side of the road with their passengers taking cover under the carts. We still see so much cruelty to animals, the donkeys, cows, horses etc are whipped incessantly and little children to grown ups throw stones at dogs, horses, goats and sheep, really sad. And then there are the frail old horses left at the side of the roads, maybe “out to pasture” at the mercy of all the trucks and busses.

Something we saw today, was a group of boys playing their version of bowls – rolling round rocks, the size of a beachball, down the steep hills into the road to see how far they would go……
There are some children that throw stones at cars too, so we glare at them and shake a finger which has worked up to now.

After 10 hours of driving (370kms), checking in at Haile Resort in Awassa, again, felt like home, we even got the same suite. At the reception, I heard a young man saying “like” several times in a sentence, so I said, “You must be South African”. Transpired he and his Dad were born in Eritrea, neighbour to Ethiopia and Dad, Haile lived in South Africa for many years, while his son, Solomon now lives in the states and has just visited SA. We saw them at dinner too and had a chat.

S: Supper was really good, but no buffet this time. We did not take long over our tea as we wanted to catch up on the blog and get a good night’s rest before heading down to Yabella. It feels right to be turning around for this stretch especially when meeting Haile and Solomon who come from Eritrea and say that they would not go there at the moment.

Good night all, stay safe and God bless.

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