The African Adventure, Stages 31, 32, & 33

Stage 31, Addis Ababa to Gogetti Camp
110km and 1200m of hills to climb…shame I’m on the bus !!
Yep, I’m taking a day off, maybe even two !! I’ve got saddle sores developing and as four riders ended up in hospital with them last year I’ve decided to stop and make sure they heal before I continue riding. I’ve also changed my bike saddle ready for my return to riding, not happy about being on the bus but its the sensible thing to do !!
Riding the bus with me were Sandy and Chris, both riders, and Nix the medic and John the chef. We arrived at the lunch stop and had a quick sandwich before picking up Rob, another rider, and heading for camp.
We arrived at camp just as the first rider arrived, 3hrs 33mins after he started……incredible !! I helped set up camp and then helped the chef with dinner before picking up the iPad and writing the blogs I’ve not had time to do recently !!
Tomorrow is another day and I’ll probably be on the bus again….oh well !!

Stage 32, Gogetti Camp to Hosaina
Another 119km and 1644m of climbing !!
I’m on the bus again, nothing more frustrating for a cyclist than riding in a bus past people who are cycling !!
From my vantage point in the bus it was obvious that it was a tough day, the TDA truck struggled up some of the hills so the cyclists certainly would !!
As I wasn’t cycling I really don’t have much to say about the day so lets discuss some other issues !!
I remember back in the 80’s we were all raising money for famine in Ethiopia and Bob Geldof was swearing at us on live tv. Because of this I still had the image of a dust bowl in my head, I never once imagined that Ethiopia would be so fertile, green, agricultural and that it would have such impressive infrastructure !! Perhaps I’m ignorant but what happened, in the last 20 or so years how did Ethiopia become so modern or was it already ? According to a guide at the Castle in Gonder the famine was in a very small area of this country and it regularly has problems their, in fact he said that people who live there had been offered to move as there is so little water and that if hey stayed it was there own fault !! I don’t know the answer to this but it does make you think, the outcome though of all the fundraising is a country that now permanently seems to have there begging bowl out. As we cycle through the stunning landscape we are harassed by just about every child, the cry of ” money money money” it just about all you ever here. It’s put a number of us of from ever giving to an Ethiopian charity again especially when they then throw stones, sticks or just spit at you if you cycle past. After one of our riders was hit in the face recently by a stone thrown by a child I have become increasingly annoyed if any stones are thrown at me ! On the day to Addis my frustration reached its peak, here is my confession !
I was about 20km past the lunch stop on the Addis ride, as I approached two children who were sitting by the road they started throwing stones. I initially stopped my bike and shouted at them to stop, with this they threw another stone. I was incensed. I got of my bike and rushed them kids, my bike still in my hand, they rushed into a nearby house and closed the door. Without thinking I just kicked the door, it came straight of its hinges and I strode in, my bike still in hand. I’m six foot two, I weigh about 95kilo and I was damned angry. I think I got the adults attention as they were cowering in the corner with there kids. I exploded with anger, pointing my finger at them all I gave them a piece of my mind, I think I might have used one or two expletives 😉
The kids dropped there remaining stones and as the adults looked at them I think they finally understood why I was angry, I turned on my heel and stormed out, walking over the broken door on my way out. I doubt that TDA will ever sanction this way of dealing with kids who throw stones but frankly just for once I felt satisfied !!
On another note hopefully ill be back on my bike tomorrow and feeling a little more comfortable than my last ride.

Stage 33, Hosaina to Bush Camp
Bloody Kids !!!
126km of hills and kids, the hills I can cope with, slowly, but I can cope. The kids on the other hand are driving me mad, right from the start this morning as I left the school for the deaf which is where we camped last night. Out onto the main road and what a surprise, uphill, before I’d even reached the first roundabout at 3km I’d been asked for “money money money” on numerous occasions, it’s either that or ” where you go ” !!
The route was just as scenic as normal, lots of hills, deep valleys and some spectacular descents, the only thing to spoil it was the kids !! By the time I reached lunch I had also had numerous kids throw stones at me, some spat at me or called me names and just giggled ! In frustration I got of my bike on several occasions to confront these tiny terrorists but as with most bullies they just run away !!
After lunch I was out on my own again, it certainly doesn’t bother me as you can cycle at your own pace and I don’t need a minder 😉 my legs were tired with all the hills and by late afternoon I’d had to walk up one as I was cycling so slowly it was quicker to walk. If the TDA bus had come past I’d have probably got on it, I was that tired ! Fortunately the bus didn’t come past and I was rewarded with a fantastic downhill almost all the way to camp, this was also spoilt by more kids, most of them carrying garden tools, they swing them at you causing you to swerve and nearly crash. As you cycle past they just laugh, yet again I was fuming and turned by bike round to confront these little shits but yet again they just ran off !!
Arriving at camp was a blessed relief, I was hot, tired and still upset with the kids, the evening was just everyone swapping tales of kids !! It overshadowed dinner and was mentioned in the rider meeting, still tomorrows another day.
Bed early as normal, 104km tomorrow but with far less climbing 😉

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About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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2 Responses to The African Adventure, Stages 31, 32, & 33

  1. Jude Newton says:

    It sounds as if this trip has been a tough one, but what an experience. I’m so proud of you. 😉

  2. Sarah says:

    Lol, this one made me laugh out loud!! Sorry but I can picture youbsooooo clearly going mental. In fact I’m surprised you didn’t ask to actually drive the bus for them and make some accidental swerves! Hopefully you have scared a few and might make them a bit?!! Here’s hoping before one really does get it. Good job it was the door this time!! Hope you can still run too x

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