Away from the desert in the Ethiopian highlands the heat was once again bearable, and the sun shone down as we took a walk around Gondor to the Royal Enclosure, a walled area of the town with numerous remnants of castles and palaces dating back four hundred years.
In the afternoon Nathan was interested in watching the Manchester United game on the TV, so we set off on a walk around Gondor to try and find somewhere to watch it. It turns out the Ethiopians are crazy for the English Premiership and it wasn’t long until we found a hotel where they had the game against Everton on the big screen in front of around a hundred Africans and two Welshmen drinking a cheeky afternoon beer.
After the game we drove up to another hotel on the top of the hill to see the view and sample the local food. We tried the fasting food which consists of a large flat sour kind of pancake with numerous dips and vegetables on top. We weren’t overly impressed with the sour bread, but some of the dips were really tasty.
To reach the Simian mountains towards the north of the country involved a long four hour drive on gravel roads to the ‘base town’ of the mountains called Debark. The suspension and steering on the Landrover were taking a battering, and the dust storm that was created by the back wheels was churning up dust into the small gaps in the rear door, covering everything inside with a horrible layer of dust.
Once we had found a hotel we decided to check that the Landrover was OK. The day we arrived at the Ethiopian border we had discovered a small leak coming from the fuel tank. Initially we had thought that the local youths who were hassling us for cash near the border had sprayed Diesel over the tank in some sort of scam, as they all appeared to know where there was a good mechanic once they had alerted us to the problem.
We took a closer look in Gondor to see there was actually a slow leak, but on another inspection in Debark, the tank was leaking around ½ litre (a pint) per hour. The sun was going down, and so we placed a bucket under the tank until the morning when we would try and get it fixed.
- David Jennings & Nathan Topham
- Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
- For the past 5 years, me and my best friend Nathan have talked about the possibility of travelling around the world by land and sea, and so finally we have a route, savings and time to set off around the world. What we are doing is living out a dream, a dream we share with many people worldwide, a dream of travelling this vast, diverse, beautiful and interesting planet, but unlike the many others who keep it as a dream, we have the tenacity to make this dream a reality.