Ethiopia is known for fuel shortages, so I was relieved to refuel at the border before leaving Kenya. It was a close call because a power cut during refuelling meant they had to start a generator to power the fuel pump!

In Mega, I walked through gates of a very cheap hotel to find groups of men socialising at tables with friends and plastic carrier bags of khat. It's legal here, but the place had a secretive vibe.

In Awassa, I met Isaac walking down the street. The following day we met for a walk along Lake Awasa with his granddaughter towards the fish market and Mountain Tabor. We sat looking at the lake discussing the similarities and differences between our lives. We drank coffee at his daughter's stall. Isaac was a very nice and kind gentlemen. Here is Isaac (left) and myself (right) in front of Lake Awasa.

Isaac (left) and Stephen Matthews (right) at Lake Awassa, Ethiopia.

From Moyale at the border to Addis Ababa, I captured this video.

In Addis Ababa, my aims were to get a visa for Sudan and plan my arrival in Sudan to coincide with an old friend. This was the first visa issued at an embassy since West and Central Africa—all countries since then have not required a visa or it was issued online or at the border.

Addis Ababa is well known for pick pockets. I was OK but a friend was a victim twice (!) but he managed to immediately get his items back. Whilst walking with another friend in the street, a teenager distracted my mate and another covertly searched my mate's pocket. My friend was switched on and knew exactly what was happening!

I was staying in the centre of Addis Ababa and I could hear a loud speaker system. They were preparing for a Teddy Afro concert so I took a look with a Catalan friend to see if we could get in. Streets were closed to traffic, lots of people, and lots of police. All of a sudden the police started pushing the crowd back. One large, rogue policeman charged the crowd and issued blows with his baton to anyone in reach. We stepped back and resorted to a bar and chatted with locals.

I met two Swiss who are also riding around the world—Xenia and Martin from XT Adventures. They're decent people, and it was great fun to chat about travel, bikes, and so on.

En route to Bahir Dar, I crossed the Blue Nile river that separates the Amahara and Oromia regions. A very scenic route with some nice twistys too. Like many places in Africa, I started to draw a crowd when I stopped to take photos.

Twistys near Iyosa, Ehtiopia.
Stephen Matthews next to local children and twistys near Iyosa, Ethiopia.

In Debre Markos, I'd found a super cheap hotel. The manager invited me to hang out, so we drank beers and watched live music with dancing in the hotel bar. It was a Saturday night, the entertainment was put on for the local people, and it was not a tourist event. A beautiful young lady was performing traditional dances to the music. She was so so good... and did I say... beautiful too! The dancing was nothing like I've seen before. I didn't record this video, but watch this video from half way onwards for examples of the dancing.

I bumped into Xenia and Martin again in Bahir Dar. Here's us three before we rode out together.

Xenia Sägesser (left), Stephen Matthews (middle), and Martin Strebel (right) in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

We rode for an hour or so before going our separate ways, which felt too short.

On the way to Gondar, there was lots of nice scenery.

My Honda CRF250L near Addis Zemen, Ethiopia.
Honda CRF250L and Stephen Matthews near Addis Zemen, Ethiopia.
Stephen Matthews in Ethiopia.
Stephen Matthews and his Honda CRF250L in Ethiopia.

I did the tourist thing and saw the sites in Gondar. This is the Fasilides Palace in the centre of Gondar.

Fasilides Palace in Gondar, Ethiopia.
The royal lion cage at Fasilides Palace in Gondar, Ethiopia.

In Bahir Dar, I'd heard of a fuel tanker that was on fire near Gondar. Well—I found it! Look carefully and you'll see there were still small flames coming from the top.

A smouldering fuel tanker trailer that was still on fire near Gondar, Ehtiopia.

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