Ethiopia

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Even though Ethiopia is not a major destination for people, we are very motivated to discover this country. Ethiopia is unique due to its language, writing, and culture. We are extremely anxious to discover this nation which is five time the size of Italy and also a former Italian colony in the 1930’s. The first pleasant surprise for us, is to finally been able to drink great coffee. Since we started this journey around the world it has been very difficult to find such amazing coffee as we found here in Ethiopia. Another positive note for us, is the lack of private cars in this country. People are all walking by the side of the roads and the main mean of transport are the little Tuk-Tuk and small wooden chariots pulled by donkeys. The lack of private cars don’t eliminate the danger of driving. The streets are full of loose animals such as cows, donkeys, and of course goats and sheep. Also camels are very common working animal in Ethiopia. They are all over. All of these animals are wondering freely in the middle of the roads making our driving somewhat more challenging than other countries we have crossed in the past. Most of Ethiopia is formed by highlands. We rarely were driving below 1500 meters above sea level. The average roads are between 2000 and 3200 meters above sea level. Luckily for us we are in Ethiopia during dry season therefore many river beds we had to cross were without water.

Driving through these highlands, the first impression is that the main economy is based on agricultural produces. The main produces are coffee and vegetables.

We also noticed a ton of people carrying yellow plastic containers which are used to gather water from wells around the villages. it appears to us that this is definitely one of the main jobs carried on by woman and children.

We entered Ethiopia from Moyale. The first 100 KM of Road were half descent until Yabelo. After that we started to take our usual secondary roads which were rocky, dusty and pretty hard on our motorcycles. So hard that i broke my rear shock absorber. From that point onward my driving conditions in Ethiopia was really terrible. We reached Lake Chamo, and consequently drove through Arba Minch and Shashemene.

Shashemene is a place that Matteo really wanted to visit because it is believed to be the ” Promise Land” for the followers of the Rastas Religion. The town wasn’t really what we expected to be therefore the following morning we left again direction Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has been very interesting when interacting with locals. We were treated like real “movie stars” every time we had a break along the road. In minutes we were surrounded by ton of people of all ages. All were staring at us like we came from another planet.

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Blue Nile
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Harvesting

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Plowing from the past
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Laundry from the past

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Collecting water from the wells
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Hello

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Coffee ceremony

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Getting closer to Addis Ababa

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Lake Chomo
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Typical curious crowd

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Full moon

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Matteo buying water. Unbearable heat
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Traffic jam
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15 thoughts on “Ethiopia”

  1. Ethiopia…the largest (88million) landlocked country in the world.
    Incredible place. Love the AK-47’s !! especially the personal touches each
    owner imparted to the barrel guards. You should ask to shoot one.

  2. Thanks Kevin, When they say 10% of the human population hold 90% of it all its true. It is also true that the smiles the 90% have are so much more genuine then the 10% of us. Lots to think about……. Cheers.

  3. All wonderful.Above all the eyes of the young girl in black and white photo.
    Ilaria, Massimo, Zeeva & Dolly

  4. Hello motor travellers…Am the cop you took a photo with on Isiolo-Moyale road…Matteo thanks for your interactions and i wish you the safest journey…i keep tabs with your every update

  5. Unbelievable pictures Roberto.Really captures the struggle for life in such a desolate country

    On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 2:31 PM, From Italy helping children around the world

  6. Thanks Veronique. I received your PM. Not to worry. By the way, nothing wrong with a good coffee near the Trevi fountain in beautiful Rome. My favorite city in the whole world.

  7. It was most wonderful to receive your very interesting (and very beautiful pictures) this morning, at breakfast time. I was very much in need of coffee (which I did not have with me) and could smell the astounding perfume of freshly toasted coffee, like they give it to you in Ethiopia. I had the pleasure of drinking it not in Ethiopia, but near Termini Station in Rome, where you could find ethiopian restaurants, 15 years ago. Please read carefully the private mail I am sending you. Lots of hugs ! Veronique.

  8. Boah, my friends!
    This indeed ist a totally strange country – maybe the strangest of your whole trip? Your are definitely from a different world! I guess, many of those people have never ever seen a motorbike before!
    I remember the way of crowding when you stop – hundreds of black faces around you, so close! Aren’t you afraid, they take away your gear? I guess, it’s quite dangerous, riding through the mass of people on the roads.
    I hope, you can fix you shock absorber soon, Roberto!
    Keep safe, enjoy and have fun, you two!
    Greetings from cold and snowy Germany, Susan

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