On the Nile Route between Nairobi and Cairo travel blog


On the morning of the 18th we headed out of the mountains for the trip to Gondar, the old capital of Ethiopia. We thought it would be a quick trip - how wrong we were!

First of all, as we headed out we noticed a truck in front of us blowing a lot of smoke. Pretty soon this truck was broken down in the middle of the road, blocking traffic in both directions. We were stuck and as we waited there hordes of children magically appeared over the mountain with baskets to sell. They were pretty poor, most of them bare footed and clad is ragged old blankets to keep out the cold. After about 40 minutes the truck finally got going and so did we - but last night's rain had turned the road into a quagmire and very soon we were hopelessly bogged! We piled out of the truck while Tim tried again and again, many locals arrived to offer advice and shovels were produced to dig out the mud and many stones thrown into the holes to give us traction. Eventually after about an hour Tim had one last go and finally made it! We were on our way again, fingers crossed as the road was so steep and muddy. We arrived back in Debark in time for lunch and then headed on towards Gondar and our fancy hotel (with no water, hot or otherwise).

On Saturday we had a tour of the town. Gondar used to be the capital of Ethiopia and we visited the royal enclosure, a church and the baths where mass baptisms into the orthodox faith are conducted each year. At the baths a huge storm struck and we had to shelter, all the while watching the water level in the baths and hoping we were not going to get baptized just yet!

Meanwhile, Tim was fixing the truck. New tyres as the old ones were worn out in the mud, 5th and 6th gear not working and some problems with the drinking water tap leaking. Problems not fixed so we are not leaving at 8am tomorrow as planned, but 1.30pm.

Well, it's now tomorrow and the truck problems are still not fixed so we are staying another night in Gondar. A mini bus is on standby in case the truck is not fixed so we can at least get into Sudan and to Khartoum where we have a few days which will give Tim time to catch up when everything is fixed. We went out for dinner tonight, and when we got back to the hotel there was still no truck so off we went to bed ready for a 6am start in the mini bus the next day.

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