Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Ethiopia again

Day 125
Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

It was said that the condition of the road from Djibouti to Ethiopia is really good. And so it was. It took two days.

Marabous by the road – or to be more accurate - Marabou Stork, Leptoptilos crumeniferus

Reaching closer to the capital it became mountainous again. And the higher – the cooler and so suddenly - only +16 C and rain was all left from the cluodless sky and + 40 C. After all the city is more than 2000 metres altitude, so no wonder that the climate is different here.

And a number of jobs waiting to be done. Usually it is so that ordinary things need to take care of . Starting from the car and ending with laundry.

First of all, it was necessary to have the regular oil change of the car and buy a new battery. For some time one battery will do when the battery is used only to start the car . But actually for this car two batteries are designed. So the new battery will be used to have current during the time while having stopped. To use laptop or charge the battery of the camera. Or just get light.

What concerns the batteries – then it is solved like this – two batteries are connected in parallel, so the batteries should be identical. They both have separate switches – so it is possible to choose which one is used for driving time and which one is used while standing. And always while standing – one battery is switched out. So that there is one full to start the bus.

The next operation was oil – changing. It could be even performed on the spot, because getting under the car was possible here. So taking the backbag and going to town to buy oil. On foot, because it is more interesting getting around this way. The first station is Oillibya. And the next is Total. Having got the oil, go back, drive the car on the channel and begin to turn off the bottom protection. Don`t succeed. Because good tools are required, but my tool-box has changed the owner on the way from Djibouti to Addis. Fortunately the other tool-box, that was put into another place in the car, is still there, but its tools are not sufficient to turn off the protection. I climb out from under the car and decide that it is easier to let somebody do this little job.
I start the car and goto the first gas station. Their answer is that they only wash the cars. And they tell me to go to the place where the oil was bought. So I reach the place and require about oil-change. The answer is - that it is a public holiday today and tomorrow morning the oil will be changed. Ok, if it is tomorrow – then let it be tomorrow. Go back to my overnight place. It turns out that here also it is possible to get different tools and the oil-changing process begins again. And this time it is a success.

Bolts in a large view. Driving over the rocks has worn greatly them out. No sense to have them back, they can become even lower and the result is much trouble then.

The protection before and after replacing. Lightly scratched after riding over rocks.

This bottom protection was installed last spring, before the previous journey to Africa and is the most important addition to the car. It makes the car a little bit ( 2-3 cm ) lower but helps to ride over the rocks quite calmly.

The changing of oil takes so little time that nothing to write about it. You take the cap of, let the used oil flow into a bucket, change the filter and put the cap back, pour the new oil in. Done.

And because under the bottem everything is dry and dusty, it is convinient to have a look if anything is leaking. Nothing is leaking. Fortunately.

The next task was cleaning the rack-jack or Hi-Lift. As such a very necessary task , because this tool must be in perfect condition. The last time I used it while driving from Somaliland to Djibouti. And then it happened, the car was lifted up but back again it didn`t want to come so easily. Finally , of course, I got it down. I think that it is like a cat on a tree - getting up is easy but getting down not.

This is taken before the cleaning.

And here - taken apart.

And at last it is in one piece again. And at the test working as it should.

And further small items are waiting to be checked over. And they take a lot more time than expected.
Check the spare tires, that when in need everything is ok.Etc., etc.
Sort out photos and videos. Make a backup copy to an external hard drive.
And now enough of this technical talk.

Food. To be more precise – fruit. Available almost everywhere. And the prices are normal.

Here is a kilo of bananas and a kilo of mangoes. Per kilo of bananas costs 6 birr (25 eurocents) and mangoes – 8 birr ( 33 eurocents). The fruit lasts all the day long and some of it is left over too.

It is cheaper to buy other food stuff by the road than from a shop. And the story is such – the goods have one price if you go shopping with a camera in hand and rucksack on your back. And while shopping two hands in the pockets and wearing sandals - the food can be bought by local price.


So tomorrow morning starting to Kenya.

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