Into the mountains of Ethiopia
Since our last update we enjoyed the rest of our drive through Kenya with some more amazing wildlife and views in the sunset. We really liked the time passing through Kenya.
The border crossing into Ethiopia was a fairly easy and quick procedure. Compared to some of the borders between the Southern African countries, there seems to be almost no traffic (trucks, buses or private cars) between Kenya and Ethiopia. This has kept the roads empty and made the border crossing much easier than some of the others.
Ethiopia is yet another complete contrast for us. We've been climbing almost since the border, higher and higher into the mountains. We're at 2500m at the moment, and still climbing. As we climb, the temperature gets cooler, and the plant life around us gets more green and lush. The people here are clearly desperately poor, but they seem so happy and friendly. We just met a group of young kids who appeared from nowhere at our last stop. Despite not having any language in common they were still the loveliest and funniest group with us.
Nighttime has now fallen, and the beautiful fast smooth road that we started off on has now given way to probably the worst we've driven on so far this trip. Alternating between broken tarmac with 30cm deep potholes, then just dirt track with boulders strewn around, we are struggling to keep up 30kph over this road. It's almost impossible for me to type as we are being shaken around so badly. This is bad news for our average speed, and it's concerning for the Touareg - this much crashing, shaking and vibration must be pushing it to its limits, although it is not showing any sign of suffering which we're very grateful for. Still we have to be very careful - hit one deep bump too fast and we could be out of the World Record Attempt on the spot.
The other concern about this sort of road is the effect it has on us three. The team relies on being able to alternate between driving and sleeping to keep up our 24 hour progress. It's proving to be impossible to sleep in the car with this much crashing and banging. Without doubt, this is going to be a hard night.
We'll update you in the morning, hopefully back on reasonable roads and being able to enjoy Ethiopia and its wonderful people again.