Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TdA Rest Day 9. Addis Ababa.

After deeming my Racing Ralphs totally inadequate for cycling offroad in Africa, I sought Erik's assistance in getting some new rubber (and a few other goods) before the next off-road section. A priority DHL to Addis Ababa seemed to be the swiftest, most hassle free solution (at least for me). I booked a room at the Sheraton (not cheap, but extremely lovely after a month on the road) thinking that I could have the package delivered there, further streamlining the process. Unfortunately, deliveries in Africa don't work quite the same as in Canada. The short story for any future TdA riders shipping stuff to Addis Ababa:
- you will still need to go to the airport to get your package
- after about two hours, you will find out how much import tax that you owe
- the import tax is around 66% of the value of the goods that you have shipped
- you have to pay the import tax in CASH at a bank outside of the airport
- the bank does not have an ATM. Neither does the airport.
- after the cash transaction at the bank, you have to go back to the airport and find someone who gives a shit and can help you find your package.

Total time to pick up my express package from DHL: 5 hours. Enjoy the $700 of shipping charges that you earned for that!

On the bright side, it beats the prospect of dealing with 10 flats a day in the blistering sun through the next offroad section?

My other order of business for my day off was to get a new digital camera, as I have broken the two small cameras that I brought with me (lost one to sand and the other to water). It seems that the digital revolution has not yet hit this city. Of the 8 camera stores that I visited, only two had digital cameras available for sale. The first of those could not offer me a charger or a box for the camera. Thankfully, the second offered both.

1 Comments:

Blogger BikingBakke said...

shoot, I could have sent you a couple old digital ones (old assuming they too would eventually become disposable). I didn't think the bike part reinforcement thing would end up being all that easy, I'm just really, really happy that it did end up working somehow. Even after all those costs, those parts are essentially worth their weight in gold.

February 27, 2011 at 5:39:00 PM MST  

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