We returned to the garage to refit the tank only to find that the fuel connector pipe had been bent by one of the workers meaning that it wouldn’t connect properly. The tank came out once more, the pipe was bent back, and the tank was once more refitted.
The next stage was to bleed the fuel system of any air, but air kept coming through into the filter and the engine wasn’t running correctly. We called for a mechanic to sort it out once and for all, and after two or three hours of us all investigating, the problem wasn’t in the engine or the fuel system, but in the tank. And so, the tank was removed once more.
The problem was that the internal fuel pipe was touching the bottom of the tank when it was re-welded, and so wasn’t sucking diesel correctly. The tank was opened up, a piece was cut off the pipe and then it was welded once more. This time we tested the entire system before we fitted the tank back between the chassis, and everything was fine.
With the engine running, the car moving again and having spent eleven hours working, we set off back to Rolfs house only to find that the battery had drained and we needed a jump-start. Once back at Rolfs, the electrical system failed again and we dreaded yet another day in Addis fixing more problems.
On closer inspection to the electrical system in the morning, I discovered that the mechanic had rewired our split charge system incorrectly when he removed all of the batteries to weld the exhaust pipe, and so the main battery wasn’t charging at all. We were relieved that it was such a simple solution, and astounded that the battery had lasted so long without being charged.
We were finally, thankfully back on the road and exuberantly heading south towards Kenya with the engine ticking over like a dream, and the tarmac being swallowed up beneath our wheels. The scenery of southern Ethiopia was changing around us from beautiful lakes within the savannah, to flat desert land, to mountainous fertile valleys where you might of thought you were in Cambodia.
We arrived in a small town called Yavello in the evening 251miles/404km later, and found a hotel for the night with a short drive to the border awaiting us the next day. From what we had seen of Ethiopia, we vowed that one day we would come back and spend longer exploring the vast landscape of the most fascinating and diverse country we had ever visited.
- 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.