First day of cycling through Ethiopia. Surprising how quickly things changed at the border. Ethiopia is much more populated with many villages. Even where there are no villages, still people most any place you might stop.
We cycled from Metema, the border town, across five or six villages today. Crowds of kids would stand watching. We were warned that some might have rocks or sticks so, the idea was to proactively engage with “hello” and other waves and gestures before they could get other ideas. Today this worked for me.
Also different is most of Ethiopia is built on a hill. Lots of rolling terrain to cross with grades ranging from 1-2% to short steep 10-12% pieces. Slowly as we climb to the highlands, it also seems to be getting cooler (hooray!). However, today it was still warm at lunch and so I decided to be cautious and ride the lunch truck on the way in and hence didn’t ride the last 34km.
These landscapes and extra trees definitely underscore a “we are cycling in Africa” sense and one that we’ve now left the desert – even if it is still dry here.
Tomorrow is a set of big climbs and so I’ll see what I ride on that day. However definitely enjoying the variety that Ethiopia brings.