With the front axle now put back on, the garage were trying to charge us £75/€82.50 for the time spent removing and reattaching the front axle, even though we had warned them not to do any work until we have a quote. For four hours work in Europe this would still be above the normal price, but for Ethiopia, a waiter wouldn’t earn this type of money in a month.
We argued and eventually paid £30/€33 to the garage so that we could leave their compound with the Landrover and get back onto the road. We said goodbye to Rolf and Rut, but exchanged numbers agreeing to meet up again in Addis at Rolfs house in less than a weeks time.
The road south from Gondor led us to a small town on Lake Tana called Bahir Dar, it was an ideal place to chill out for a few days in the sunshine, reading and relaxing with a few cold beers.
The Nile Falls we knew we located only 20miles/31km from Bahir Dar, and so we decided to drive out there with the Landrover after getting a quick breakfast at the hotel. The road there was terrible, but by now we were getting used to driving on the gravel roads that were commonplace in the more rural areas of Ethiopia.
We arrived at the adjoining village to the falls only to get the standard amount of persistent hassling from the locals trying to sell themselves as tour guides and it proved impossible to just wander around without someone latching on and following our every move. The falls were not as impressive as we had hoped, as the river has for a long time been dammed in a hydroelectric project, and would have been quite an enjoyable trip if it were not for the hassling.
We returned to the hotel to sit down watching a game of football on the large screen TV when we discovered we had a visitor. Rolf had recommended this hotel to us, and had decided to come and spend a night in Bahir Dar with his friend Ingo, and then to try and track us down to see if we fancied a beer! We spent the evening having a few beers with both Rolf and Ingo, before retiring to bed with a long drive in front of us the next day.
- 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.