Ethiopia

Part II

From Argash lodge we headed back around the Lake Awasa. To a place called Arba Minch on Lake Chamo where we stayed at a place called Paradise Lodge. The roads were good and the ride easy enough. Paradise lodge was a stop along the way to a place called Jinka. In Jinka you can see the tribes with the dish lips. They also have ceremonies where the men lash the women with sticks across the back slicing them open. The women freely participate in these events. They want to be lashed for some reason. Paradise lodge was full of tour groups and they were all heading to see this ceremony in Jinka so I decided not to go. It sounds like this whole show is put on for the tourists. I was a bit apprehensive about seeing this in the first place but I don’t want to see anyone get lashed for my benefit.

We decided to head for Kenya instead which was a two-day ride away. Here we hope to see tribes in their natural existence living a natural life, not a circus performance. The ride towards Kenya took us on a 100 km dirt road to a town called Yebelo back on the main road south. It was a fantastic ride through the dirt; it was actually the quietest place in Ethiopia I’ve seen. We spent the night in some lodge run by an Italian guy or should I say owned by an Italian guy, he certainly doesn’t seem to run the place or have any control at all. The staff here have taken over from what I can see and they’re a creepy bunch who lurk in the shadows watching you all the time.

From here it was a three-hour ride to the border of Kenya and to the infamous “Hell Road” or “Road through Hell”. This 250 km stretch of mud and dirt has a reputation in Africa, a reputation for robberies, car-jacking and murder. The border crossing itself was a breeze and only took an hour or so. I had to get a Kenyan visa which was $50 but besides from that the crossing was free. I’m now holed up in a hotel on the Kenyan side of Moyale. The town itself is a sight for sore eyes. The streets are dirt and there’s rubbish everywhere. The important thing as always is the people and so far their fantastic. Everyone I’ve met so far speaks english and  they joke all the time. We will depart at first light through the “Hell Road” towards Marsabit.

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