Day 128 Ethiopia : Lake Langano - Abru Minche

Day 128 Ethiopia

Trip Distance 311 km (193 m) Total Distance 14616 km (9084 m)
Road Condition 90% tar 20% hard core surface  
Time to travel 3.5 hrs 2.5 hr  
Abru Minche
Timret Pension N6 01.778 E37 33.484 EB130 - cold shower (even with electricity), cleanish loo, bedroom and sheets and bed with mozzie net

We had a leisurely breakfast this morning and packed up our vehicles in some dry weather.  At last - no rain this morning.  Iain went on ahead of us with plans for us all to meet up in Abru Minche again later that day.  We gave him Trevor's mobile phone but this was a bit useless because from Lake Langano, there was absolutely no signal - even in Abru Minche because the electricity was off!!!!! 

Eventually, with Anja and Jorg waiting for us, we managed to finish packing Sully up and set off.  The first part of the journey to Shashemene was easy and all on asphalt.  Shashemene is the hometown of Ethiopian Rastafarians and is an ecclectic mixture of modern, old and just plain weird!  As we drove through, we passed the local ambulance and mortuary van - a motorbike with laid-down people sized side-car painted white with big red cross and a happily smiling driver ensconced on the seat doing a daily delivery!! 

We continued our trip to Abru Minche stopping only to fill up as we entered the town limits - with both diesel and electricity, we took full advantage with our last Birr in our pockets.

Driving through the into the town, we passed a likely looking brand new hotel or pension and stopped to ask the prices, only to find that it wasn't yet open.  But at least they were able to send us to the "sister" pension just up the road - also brand new and still pretty clean.  As we passed through town, we spotted Iain and his rent-a-crowd ( he gathers an instant crowd around his bike where-ever he goes and causes a real riot!  Here he is on the road near ShashemeneP1000437)  and he ditched his audience to follow us to find somewhere to bunk down for the night.  On with the story.  Our theory holds true and we have learnt our lesson in Ethiopia.  Always look for the newest establishment to stay in - they don't believe in maintenance and the newer ones are still looking for business, so prices are normally really competitive.  Although, the price started off at EB170 for a room we managed to barter them down to EB130 per room (£7.50) so we stopped in for the night.  We had in the meantime taken a trip to Bekele Mole Hotel at the top of the hill only to find a rundown hotel but being in the Lonely Planet were really busy and were charging EB180 per room per night for a dark and dingey room with cold showers only.  You have to be choosey, you know. 

As we prepared to go out for supper, the heavens opened again proving that despite 12 months with no rain, we could conjure it up where ever we were at a moments notice!!!  Easy.  The locals were astounded.  We on the other hand were a little worried about the reports of heavy rains in the Omo Valley and a potential difficult crossing.  We needn't have worried at all. 

So, off we went for supper at the local top-notch restaurant.  The food was less than impressive and Jorg sat the whole time with insects hovering round his head (we think it was because he was sat under a light) and despite desperate attempts to remove them, go, they would not.  He spent the whole meal trying to swat them away whilst we sat smothering giggles not wanting to make him any crosser laughing at his plight.  It brightened us all up though as we dried out and planned the route to Turmi for the next day.