Leaving Yabello , I had been warned that the road all the way up to Hawassa was under construction , so I was up early to get a good start . I rode to the fuel station next to the motel , they were out , then across the road to join the ever growing queue for petrol , there must have been over 100 plastic containers lined up and around 20 tuk- tuks and motorcycles  in front of me , so I joined the line . The pump was only to open after 8 , being a faranji has its advantages , more so a faranji on a scooter , we made many friends who took it apon themselves to take me to the front of the queue , so as the pump came to an unconvincing life , Vic and I filled  tank and container and headed out .
The road works started in town as did  our nine hour journey to cover the 300 kilometres up to Hawassa . The price of progress the inconvenience and road trauma . Those who take this route in years to come will find a very different Northern Kenya and a silky drive to Addis , in many ways sad , the time on the scooter though hard and slow allows  you to see and feel so much . The lives who live here , touch you as you pass and sprinkle  a little of their magic dust  for you to carry in heart and mind as one journey’s on . Speed and comfort the tar will bring.
What is astounding about Ethiopia is how fast the landscape changes and within such short distances , from that harsh dry world just a couple of hundred kilometres back to the beauty and immense greenery as we started or climb in to the highlands.

Dust for dense greenery .
Dust for dense greenery .

So the ride became more and more beautiful , with mountains , valleys and lush landscape ,villages abundant with produce , camels left for horses , dust became mud , hot turned cool and the rain came in.

Asphalt in such short supply I took a photograph to remind me that it is out there .
Asphalt in such short supply I took a photograph to remind me that it is out there .

The scenery richer , greener , the people fill the road with their daily lives , transporting , walking , talking , soccer played  roadside , pool tables of a different Africa traded for table tennis , the excitement and screams that never cease as you ride ever so carefully and slowly through the mountains.

Heading into the mountains
Heading into the mountains

The ride up to Dilla took me to afternoon , the busy life along the road , the road conditions and the You , You , faranji screams were making for an exhausting day .

From the dust of Moyale to the Highlands of the rift valley.
From the dust of Moyale to the Highlands of the rift valley.

One of the many villages that line the road to Hawassa.
One of the many villages that line the road to Hawassa.

One of the many children that run alongside , the instant crowd when you stop.
One of the many children that run alongside , the instant crowd when you stop.

Finally Dilla emerged  out of the mist and rain , it had been a hard long ride to get here , I found  fuel for Vic and coffee for me . I sat in one of Dilla’s café s savouring every sip , looking across at Victoria on the pavement attracting all the attention , thinking to myself , we thought hell road would be the last for us , yet here we go again , now just wet and muddy with 100 kilometres to go .
Ethiopia was starting to reveal herself ever so slowly , so dramatically different to the Africa I have travelled  , a new door has opened for me , both daunting and exciting , it was the first time while travelling that the barrier to communicate had grown so , even ordering my coffee took me to the guide book to stammer out the Amharic words buna watat .

Getting g the photograph was far easier in comparison.
Getting g the photograph was far easier in comparison.

The rest of the day got me to Hawassa , exhausted , road fatigued and so grateful to this damn fine scooter for getting us here , through the rain ,  those mountain passes where the tar had slide downhill to form ruts and folds that shook us and slowed our progress to a crawl .
As I rode into this beautiful town I knew I had to take a few days to recover from the last 5 days , the haven of Hawassa was to prove just what I needed .

View from my room
View from my room
Welcome to Hawassa , Palm fringed , wide avenues , the lake and that holiday feeling my mind jumped back to my coffee and cake days in Swakopmund . I had to try a few hotels before finding a room in this busteling town , finally we set our wheels down at Ker – Awud  international the hotel  that glitters from within and out  . Unpaked  I tucked into a superbly spicy Ethiopian yefigel tibs , and injera , yes you guessed delicious goat .

Never have I had a shower like this , the lighting of a night club with piped music while washing.
Never have I had a shower like this , the lighting of a night club with piped music while washing.

The hotel
The hotel
Lazy walks alongside the lake , breakfasts that last till 10 , coffee , and a little wine to help pass the time , a hard comfortable matrass on which to lay my head , so my time has been hanging out in Hawassa ,

Lake Hawassa
Lake Hawassa

The promenade lakeside , lined with locals , fish resturants and coffee houses , Am I in Africa?
The promenade lakeside , lined with locals , fish resturants and coffee houses , Am I in Africa?

Fish and coffee
Fish and coffee

I spent the day wondering the streets , getting Victoria cleaned again , fuelled up and ready to ride we both will be in a day or so .
Ethiopia a island of culture , life and language surrounded by a continent we call Africa .

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 Mosaic's combined to keep memories alive.
Mosaic’s combined to keep memories alive.

At the car wash again.
Until we meet again.
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