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Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 9:47am
by Bmblbzzz
Or bikejoring! :lol:

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 1:04pm
by djb
Bmblbzzz wrote:Or bikejoring! :lol:


Mush Mush!

(Had to look that up, had no clue)

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 1:34pm
by simonhill
Gotta laugh at the stone throwing. In much of South and SE Asia, many cyclists complain about the kids constantly saying "hello", "where you come from" or "where you going". What joy.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 2:14pm
by djb
simonhill wrote:Gotta laugh at the stone throwing. In much of South and SE Asia, many cyclists complain about the kids constantly saying "hello", "where you come from" or "where you going". What joy.


I can deal with possible and surprise dog attacks, or the risk of robbery (big touch wood for both) but to knowingly travel through an area with established and common physical attacks on travellers goes was waaaay past assessing and accepting certain risks.

Not to mention of course how personal contact and interactions with locals is such an enjoyable part of cycle touring for me, always has been. So again, I read of this cultural thing going on and positive aspects of the place aside, this tips the balance easily against putting yourself knowingly into this situation.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 2:58pm
by simonhill
I agree. The stone throwing things has been reported as an annoyance as much as anything. To me it could be downright dangerous, if not lethal. A well aimed stone could easily take out your eye, or concuss you if not worse. What do the little devils do if you fall off and lie unconscious. Come and give you a good kicking.

Fortunately I have never experienced anything man made like it, but I'm Australia I was regularly subject to magpie attacks. In some ways these would be similar. You have a large bird with sharp break and claws spontaneously attacking you, mainly the head. You try to fend it off, wobble a lot and stop paying attention to traffic, etc. They reckon there are numerous deaths caused by 'maggies' who have left no mark, but caused the rider to lose concentration.

I'll give it a miss too.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 7:56pm
by amaferanga
djb wrote:
simonhill wrote:Gotta laugh at the stone throwing. In much of South and SE Asia, many cyclists complain about the kids constantly saying "hello", "where you come from" or "where you going". What joy.


I can deal with possible and surprise dog attacks, or the risk of robbery (big touch wood for both) but to knowingly travel through an area with established and common physical attacks on travellers goes was waaaay past assessing and accepting certain risks.

Not to mention of course how personal contact and interactions with locals is such an enjoyable part of cycle touring for me, always has been. So again, I read of this cultural thing going on and positive aspects of the place aside, this tips the balance easily against putting yourself knowingly into this situation.


Ethiopians that don't throw stones (the vast majority) easily make up for the few that do. It's a spectacular country with (mostly) amazing people. After having a few kids chick stones at you, turning up in a village and having a family put on a coffee ceremony just for you easily makes up for it.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 8:09pm
by MartinP
I agree. Ethiopia is an amazing country and a highlight of my Cairo to Cape town trip. The people are generally friendly and welcoming and enduring the odd stone-throwing kid is a just a negative to put up with. It occurs in 2 or 3 areas only, the northern region is free of the problem and as I said before IMHO you should not let it put you off experiencing a fascinating country

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 9:49pm
by northerncyclist
MartinP wrote:I agree. Ethiopia is an amazing country and a highlight of my Cairo to Cape town trip. The people are generally friendly and welcoming and enduring the odd stone-throwing kid is a just a negative to put up with. It occurs in 2 or 3 areas only, the northern region is free of the problem and as I said before IMHO you should not let it put you off experiencing a fascinating country



Just to pick you up on the line the northern region is free of the problem....Not sure what you mean by the northern region but just so other cyclists reading this are aware the north of Ethiopia is definitely not free of the problem.....I also dont think it is in two or three areas only but again I dont know what you mean by an area......

That said I agree with your praise of a fascinating, beautiful country but it is a country where you need to be aware of the challenges you will face.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 10:00pm
by djb
northerncyclist wrote:
MartinP wrote:I agree. Ethiopia is an amazing country and a highlight of my Cairo to Cape town trip. The people are generally friendly and welcoming and enduring the odd stone-throwing kid is a just a negative to put up with. It occurs in 2 or 3 areas only, the northern region is free of the problem and as I said before IMHO you should not let it put you off experiencing a fascinating country



Just to pick you up on the line the northern region is free of the problem....Not sure what you mean by the northern region but just so other cyclists reading this are aware the north of Ethiopia is definitely not free of the problem.....I also dont think it is in two or three areas only but again I dont know what you mean by an area......

That said I agree with your praise of a fascinating, beautiful country but it is a country where you need to be aware of the challenges you will face.


certainly my comments are "armchair" comments, having never been in the continent, let alone the country.
Your last sentence to me is the most important, no matter where one travels, to be aware and informed as much as one can.
I know I've cycled in places that some people think that I was nuts doing it due to the "danger", so I respect the comments made by you have actually been there.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 9:14am
by MartinP
Yes, you are right to question my broad claims and about poorly defined geographical locations, so permit me to qualify what I said a little more accurately. But more importantly please be reminded that my views are purely based on what I experienced 'on the ground'. I only go by first hand experience - (apart from the anecdotal story of the Frenchman being stabbed which I heard on socialmedia).
I entered Ethiopia at Humora which is a lesser used border town in the north west. From there I cycled across to Shire,  Axum and Adwar and then southeast to Hawzen and Megab visiting the mountain churches nearby. From there I joined the road south at Wukro. Up until there I  experienced no stone throwing.  This is the 'northern region' (Tigray) I referred to which I found to be free of stone throwing youths. 
South of Addis up until Hawassa again was pretty much free of problems for me but south of there upto Yabelo was not good.   From Yabelo south to the border was fine again.
Raising another point... the border town of Moyale had experienced civil unrest a few weeks before I arrived including road blocks / army escorts and gun wealding vigilantes (!) but when I  was there it was fine.
(The riots in Khartoum, Sudan were  more of a concern to me at that stage but that's another story).
So PLEASE only take my account as a snapshot in time. A cyclist travelling the same route may have a completely different experience.  I would just like to reiterate that a few stone-throwing idiots should not put you off experiencing a stunningly beautiful culture and country ( but maybe not as your first cycle touring adventure in Africa).

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 9:17pm
by djb
MartinP wrote:So PLEASE only take my account as a snapshot in time. A cyclist travelling the same route may have a completely different experience.  I would just like to reiterate that a few stone-throwing idiots should not put you off experiencing a stunningly beautiful culture and country ( but maybe not as your first cycle touring adventure in Africa).


case in point. I've cycled through an area of Mexico where a year earlier there had been riots against police/military/govt heavy handedness that resulted in a number of deaths. I had read a trip journal of a couple going through there and how bad the feeling was there, and that they felt very uncomfortable. When I came through (and even spent a rest day there, it was unseasonally cold) there were still a burnt out truck, bus and few cars on the main road--but the place was one of the friendliest places I'd been to, everyone was friendly, including the police, and all was well, complete opposite of what I expected.

Another area of Mexico I went through a year earlier was in the news a few years back because two solo cycling tourists, a Pole and a German, had met up and were travelling together out of this small city, and were both murdered in what was probably a botched robbery. A particularly gruesome story that was very unsettling to read about, but I tried to take it from the point of view that even here in Canada, horrible crimes happen and this was an extremely unfortunate but isolated situation. Still didnt make reading about it less hair raising, but I tried to put in context and to balance it against the overwhelming good experiences I have had in that country.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 17 Oct 2020, 7:59pm
by matt2matt2002
My 5/6 weeks in Ethiopia had 3 lockdowns/ state of emergencies.
Fortunately matching my breaks.
But it certainly made an interesting trip extra err... interesting.

While I have a few mins....
I stopped at a roundabout to ask directions from a policeman.
He confirmed the route and then asked me if I enjoyed Ethiopia.
I genuinely did. And told him so.
He then asked me what I liked best.
I said, the scenery.
He said No.
I said, the beer. ( It was cheap and strong )
He said No.
I said, the weather.
He said No.

So I asked him what was best.
He gave me a big slap on the back and said.....

The Women!

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 17 Oct 2020, 8:47pm
by MartinP
Haha, love it...actually I agree with the guy, the women in Ethiopia are beautiful.
Thorn Nomad with Rohloff my steed

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 17 Oct 2020, 9:33pm
by matt2matt2002
MartinP wrote:Haha, love it...actually I agree with the guy, the women in Ethiopia are beautiful.
Thorn Nomad with Rohloff my steed


Raven Tour for me. Can't beat the Rohloff.
And yes, they're not hard to look at.
The ladies and the Thorns!

Another experience I had was being invited to sit next to a young stunning female student and read through her homework. It was about fermentation of all things. Something I know a bit about as a former home brewer.
We were alone on a hotel balcony.
She had approached me.
She was the hotel receptionist and the establishment was kosher.
I can assure you, nothing happened. But it was a very surreal experience.

I could relate other incidents but suffice to say Ethiopia holds find memories.

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Posted: 18 Oct 2020, 10:33am
by Sweep
simonhill wrote:Gotta laugh at the stone throwing. In much of South and SE Asia, many cyclists complain about the kids constantly saying "hello", "where you come from" or "where you going". What joy.

sold me, though I am averse to taking bikes on planes.
I must say, though I'm pretty open minded/one for going with cultural variants, stone throwing, which I've heard a lot about, would really really put me off. Big time.