19/02/24, restday Addis Ababa

When Baldr proposed to find a proper hotel somewhere within Addis I didn’t have to think long to agree. Loraine already found a nice looking place before we arrived at camp and not soon after arriving a booking was made for 5 persons, 5 rooms. We loaded all our stuff into a van and the 5 of us made our way to the Nega Bonger hotel! I know its a camping trip, and please think about it whatever you want, but it’s just really very nice to have a room to yourself and to be away from the big group a bit. I really like the people, but being on eachothers’ lip for this period of time takes up a lot of energy. Especially if you are already tired. So i was really happy to spend about an hour underneath my own private shower…

After that Baldr and Fred went of to some party, but I decided I just wanted to eat and to sleep. So I had diner with Ash and Loraine and then retired to my room with my own freshly made bed and proper wifi. I couldn’t sleep though. All I wanted to do was sleep but I was just to tired to sleep. One of those nights… luckily the wifi was stable enough to watch Netflix, which I really enjoyed… I’m glad I didn’t join Baldr and Fred though. Baldr got 1500birr stolen from his pocket (about 50usd) and Fred’s phone was ripped from his hand. And I later heard that more phone’s were stolen last night. Happy I was in my room in my bed 🙂
Today I’ve just been lazy. I outsourced my laundry to the hotel and then spent 3 hours at the breakfast buffet. After all the stories of yesterday evening I didn’t really feel like going out to explore the city by myself, so I catched up on some sleep. At 1400 Baldr and me took a taxi back to camp to hand in our permanent bags and then had the taxi driver take us around town. 
There’s a real construction boom going on in Addis. The city has access to many potential low wage employees and for that reason Addis is a very attractive location to establish manufacturing facilities. Next to this Addis is a bit like Brussel or Geneva, housing the headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. All this leaves the city with an annual economic growth of about 8%, leading to a lot of ongoing construction projects. Offices, hotels, housing, infrastructure, powerlines… construction is everywhere. It’s mainly financed by the Chinese. Unlike western countries the Chinese don’t demand any reform of any sorts when providing funds. The Chinese just charge insane interest rates (up to 25%) on the loans they provide, and they ask for concessions for Chinese contractors. Even for projects that are financed with internal funds. So Chinese contractors are everywhere! 
The taxi driver took us to the Holy Trinity Church, just to make sure we would not leave Addis without seeing at least one of the city’s tourist attractions. We stayed there a bit and I read a bit about Haile Selassie and the Italian occupation and his position as Messiah in Rastafarianism (which is actually a word :-), and after that I was quite ready to go back to the hotel again 🙂
Great city Addis! Would have loved to have some more time to explore the city properly, but on the other hand I’m quite happy that I got a proper rest. We’ve been quite spoiled with all the double rest days we had during the last few weeks. Next up is an 8 day stretch wtih a bus day on the third day. Let’s see whether the legs are up to it again!
Next updates might be a while. Mobile internet in Ethiopia doesn’t allow me to upload the blog including the pictures, so I’m dependent on proper wifi. The next 8 days will be through pretty remote area and I have no clue how connectivity will be on our next restday in Moyale Kenya. Please bear with me… I’m doing the best I can 🙂

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A riders diet!

Highrises under construction. Hope they’ll finish them…

Holy trinity church

If you’re used to Europe…

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