Ethiopia by bike.
Replies: 7 - Last Post: May 10, 2013 4:26 AM Last Post By: pq
Apr 24, 2013 3:49 AM
Ethiopia by bike.This is not a question, more a comment for those intending to ride in Ethiopia.
I have just spent two months there, coming from Sudan, exiting to Kenya.
It has been the worst two months I have ever spent on a bike, and I have travelled much of the world on two wheels.
The people are basically unfriendly, dishonest, rude and lazy. The children constantly throw stones at you and steal anything they can from your bike, even when you are riding. The adults shout 'you,you' as one rides by and demand money.
There is a culture of asking for money or anything else they can see, probably created by the West giving huge sums to them, over many years. It has created a people who now expect to be given everything.
Of all the countries that I have visited, it is the only one that I have no wish to return to, even if you pay for me!
Apr 24, 2013 12:59 PM
Apr 24, 2013 4:54 PM
So, whilst I concede this is very annoying, and I confess was intensely annoyed by it myself both in Morocco and Ethiopia, it is in part a result of different cultural expectations, and misunderstandings. I confess it was pretty scary seeing the crowds of people pressing in on the gates of one Ethiopian hotel waiting to beg from and pickpocket the tourists inside as they emerged. Yet in another town not so far away there was no such issue and I walked the streets unmolested. And also the faux guides who insisted on accompanying us to a rock-cut church near Addis, despite having with us two drivers who knew the way, were more or less extortionists who plainly scared our drivers as much as they scared us, indeed maybe more, as the threat was in part of damage to their vehicles. The drivers did at least succeed in bargaining down the quantity of protection money payable from the initial outrageous amount.
Yes, Ethiopia is a challenging country to travel in, but it is also immensely rewarding if you have the patience, are unsurprised by what happens, and get the hang of it. When I'd been travelling in South America for a while, several aspects of life in Europe were intensely annoying to me when I came back, especially the lack of social spontaneity, until I got used to them again.
Apr 24, 2013 4:59 PM
Apr 25, 2013 4:45 AM
Apr 25, 2013 10:12 AM
Apr 25, 2013 9:43 PM
May 10, 2013 4:26 AM
7I've been to some pretty difficult places on my bike, but Ethiopia is one that I find pretty scary. I think if I was going to ride there, I'd at least do it in company.
Horror stories like this one are common and consistent, so I don't think it's people over-reacting. Weirdly though I've read some report from riders who say they've had no trouble at all. Maybe it depends where you go.
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.