This is Africa
06.01.2008 - 07.01.2008 30 °C
The bus was moving at a snail's pace but no slower than expected. We had some 500km to Bahir Dar with an an anticipated trip time of 12 hours. When we left we were dreading the twelve hours, when we arrived 12 hours seemed like the blink of an eye. The first 3 or so hours went smoothly, then we arrived at the Blue Nile gorge. The crossing was basically a road snaking its way down a cliff face and then back up another cliff on the other side. On the second turn we encountered our first overturned truck. This was just a mood setter. Despite the ominous dirt road and obvious lack of guard rails we reached the river crossing in about half an hour. The ascent was another matter. About half way up our bus broke down. As per usual all the guys jumped out and tried to fix it but no one had any idea. Five hours later apparently someone had done something and we were on our way. Three quaters of the way up we broke down again and again at 4/5 and again at... You get the idea. By nightfall we had made covered about 150km and were in the middle of no where. We stayed in a tiny village with no running water or electricity. On the plus side the room only cost $2.50 aussie for the night.
The following morning entailed another pre 5am rise and walk to the bus station. Once again we didn't actually get out of the station for over 3 hours. This time though we departed in a mini-van, something we had drooled over as they flew past us the previous day. Right on queue though, an hour down the track it broke down aswell. Another hour was spent on the side of the road before one of our fellow passengers organised another van. By this time we had become very close to our fellow travellers despite the fact that we couldn't speak a word to each other. Due to this comradery they went in to bat for us on everything. Ensuring that we got a seat, ensuring our bags were looked after, haggling over our prices and buying/giving us food. We couldn't say a bad thing about any of them. Cutting a long ride short, two full days after we left Addis we arrived at our destination, Bahir Dar having travelled something like 350km as the crow flies.