Sunday, February 13, 2011

TdA Rest Days 6 and 7. Gondar, Ethiopia

8:20: Fever gone. Appetite back. Celebration!
8:30: Cornflakes, white toast, rehydration salts. Amazing.
9:30-14:00: black hole.
14:00: Advancing food intake to pasta with red sauce and pepsi. mmmmmm.
15:00-18:00: approaching a light at the end of the tunnel.

By dinner time I felt like I was almost human and I decided I could take the chance on a trip into town for dinner. There were six of us, a perfect number for a tuk tuk race down the steep hill into the city.

Mango and avocado juice was the choice drink to accompany our dinner of injera bread and lamb tibs (small-pieces-of-meat-that-may-or-may-not-be-lamb-and-may-or-may-not-be-a-particular-part-of-the-animal-but-are-never-the-less-delicious). The food here is AWESOME. A kid walked in selling books and tried to sell young-Adam (from Newcastle) a 'spoken English' book. Maybe not the best audience for that.

We must have arrived at the time that the place turned from diner to disco, as our waiter changed attire into a red silk t-shirt and was busting a move at every opportunity. It was a good segue into our apres-dinner coffee turned into perhaps the greatest spectacle of the evening. An elaborate ceremony involving:
- setting up a coal-fired-hand-operated coffee roaster on the floor in front of our dinner table
- roasting the beans (fanning the coals by hand while shifting the beans on the pan)
- grinding the beans with a mortar and pestle
- brewing the coffee in a metal kettle over the coals

The suffering of the day before was something that I had expected that I would experience and brought me some strange sense of satisfaction, along with the pain. But getting back into 'life' and the experience of Africa was really a sweet feeling.

Seeing the town by day was fun, too. It took a while to get comfortable with kids walking around. I found myself watching their hands for sticks and stones. We have 21 more days in Ethiopia and we are not through the woods yet. I hope this doesn't put me off one day having children!

Ethiopian money looks and feels extremely dirty by western standards. And when you see that the waiters don't even want to touch the money, you realize how dirty the money must really be. I suppose there are many ways that bugs spread around here, but that would seem to be a very good one.

Having two days off has been good. A number of other riders have become ill, but at least they are not having to ride in that condition. And the extra time has offered an opportunity to catch up on stories that I've missed...like how Kristjan the photographer stopped to take some pictures a few days ago and was guilted into buying something in exchange...but the only thing to buy was a baby goat. So, he rode with a baby goat strapped to his back by inner tubes until someone from the support crew found him and insisted that he couldn't keep it, even as a contribution for dinner. And then there was xxxxx, who accidentally took vicodin instead of his antibiotics. And then Francis, who lost a tooth to the toffee-like pvm energy bars. He went to the dentist in Gondar today and seems to be happy with the outcome. Then again, his mouth is still frozen, so time may lead to a different conclusion.

At the time of writing, I'm feeling reasonably well again (it's all relative) and I'm quite excited to get back on the bike tomorrow.

1 Comments:

Blogger Clay said...

Hey Tori,
I am friends with Mical Dyck and Regan Pringle. They steered me towards your blog as my lovely lady is currently one of your assistant tour directors. Great blog!

Wondering if you get the chance would you be able to wish Adele a Happy Valentines Day from me tomorrow? I'd really appreciate it.

Have a great ride, sounds like your killing it!

---Clay

February 13, 2011 at 5:31:00 PM MST  

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