Cape to Cairo 2010

A Motorcycle Diary

4 August (Day 36)

04 Aug

We left Mekhele at 7am because we wanted to get to Axum by Lunch time to enable us to spend the afternoon seeing the sites as we are only here for 1 night. The ride to Adrigat from Mekhele was littered with the usual mountain passes however, from Adrigat to Axum the road becomes a bikers paradise. New smooth tar and about 100km of fast, unpopulated, scenic and sweeping mountain passes..Loved it!! I have said it a thousand times already, Ethiopia is AMAZING. The loop from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, Mekhele, Axum, Adi Arkay and Gonder MUST be done by car or bike to appreciate this place but put this country on your list of MUST SEE!!

Flavio Benaiuti is an Ethiopian that specialises in bike tours through Ethiopia, and the loop mentioned above in particular and also supplies the bikes (KTM’s) so this trip is a possibility without having to ride a bike all the way here from SA.

We arrived in Axum at about 12pm and immediately headed out to explore Axum. Axum was the original stronghold of the Queen of Sheba and the Axumites, a civilisation that dominated the region for about 500 years and where the original obelisks (Think Asterix and Obelix) come from. In addition, Axum is famous for supposedly housing the ORIGINAL Ark of the covenant that is rumoured to hold the tablets on which Moses wrote the 10 commandments.

We are spending the night at the Yeha Hotel in Axum which is definitely the best hotel in town (flea, not fine) and owned by the same chain (Ghion Hotels) that own the Lake Tana Hotel, in Bahir Dar (where I was snacked on by bed bugs)!!

We are leaving early tomorrow for Debark, 350km away on a questionable gravel road that T4A says will take us 7 hours of riding time to do as we are wanting to spend the next 3 nights at the simien mountain lodge, a lodge set at 3300m in the middle of the simien mountains to relax before tackling the Sudan!

Thank you to everybody for your comments, it is such an inspiration to see how many people log into the site everyday (I have a counter on the admin back end) and your comments really keep the morale up on the days when the last thing we feel like is getting back into the saddle.

Also, our charity drive has now hit its R250,000 target and will exceed it it by the end of this trip. I cant express my Thanks enough to all the people and companies that have rallied behind this cause..Thank you,Thank you, Thank you!!!!

To the kids of MaAfrika Tikkun, I understand that you are following our journey every day. Our thanks goes out to you too as it is partly the knowledge that our ride will in a small way assist you too that makes the hard and dark days easier to manage.


Mist coming down one of the mountain passes.


Endless Beautiful views.


Dale navigating his tractor through a rough patch.


Countless mountain passes.


Where the original ark of the covenant is supposedly kept.


Modern day Obelisk.

Largest Obelisk ever..collapsed. (Thats a human size doorway on the left for perspective).


The ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba.

BackABuddy Many of us have the means and wherewithal to undertake the dreams we want but elect to choose otherwise, many however, do not and that is the purpose of this plea. Afrika Tikkun (http://afrikatikkun.org// ) is a South African non governmental, non profit charity organisation run by the Lubner family that in essence does just that; re-provide the possibility to dream and to create the possibility of turning those dreams into a reality.

Unlike many pleas of this nature, I am not looking for any kind of sponsorship for my trip, but I am looking for your donation, regardless of its size to Afrika Tikkun. Please pledge generously as this is a fantastic cause that will assist them to provide food, care, education, health and social services to those that are desperately in need.

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