Three days in the Ethiopian Highlands

Quentin, David and the other Tour riders are now in Bahir Dar in central Ethiopia. They send the following notes:

“Saturday 7 Feb 119km through the mountains. Total ascent 1000m+. A beatiful day of rising on a mainly undulating road with a couple of steeper, longer climbs. The roads through the mountans are Alpine in style – easy gradients and lots of hairpin/switchback bends – but carving though a decidedly African landscape. We camped at the side of the road in a farming area, so our tent-pitching provided amusement for a large crowd of local kids

Sunday 8 Feb

Another beautiful day of riding. We usually start bewteeen 7am and 8am. At this altitude, mornings are chilly – a few of the riders wear arm-warmers and leg-warmers, but by 9am the sun is high and it’s hot – but nowhere near the furnace-like heat we encountered in Sudan. A near-perfect African cycling day: smooth tar road, light traffic, good company, wind behind, verdant mountain scenery. Bliss. The day’s riding ended in the town of bahar dar on the shores of lake Tana – source of the blue nile. it was a Sunday, and our arrival coincided withh the monthly Sunday criterium: a bunch of Ethiopian riders racing on a 1km course around the city centre.

Monday 9 feb

We’re having a non-cycling day in the town of Bahir Dar on the shores of Lake Tana – the source of the blue nile. It’s an atttracrive town with boulevards, a corniche and finely-dressed locals promanading up and down… It’s time to rest and reflect. we can’t believe we’ve come this far already – tomorrow is our 9th day of riding. actually, it could be the 10th. We’ve lost count. Either way it will be day 25 of the whole tour. for us it’s 5 days and about 500km to Addis and the end of our jouney, before handing over the baton to Carlo and Jim – the next Team Lonely Planet riders.”

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