Well as you might imagine, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. The car did arrive on the Kenyan border but unfortunately, the transportation was a rather low truck with a large metal bar along the top that prevented our car from being loaded with its roof rack. So the allegedly indestructible Rhino roof rack had to be removed and the tyres had to be deflated in order to fit the car on the truck. So much for the idea of preventing further damage to our newly repaired car. So despite receiving a phone call from the lorry drivers at 8am, we didn’t actually manage to get the car across the border until 12.38; just 8 minutes after the border closed for lunch for 1½ hours. One of the key difficulties arose from the need to fix the roof rack back onto the car. Having found a hill to unload the car from the lorry, once the tyres had been re-inflated it soon became apparent that the roof rack had been broken, probably due to some force over getting it off in the first place. So now we had a car with a broken roof rack that wouldn’t fit into the car. The lorry drivers went to the town to find some glue (our superglue had exploded in the boot of the car, having been crushed by the weight of the luggage) and then mixed the glue with some ash to create what appeared to be an effective repair. Then they attempted to fix the rack to the roof but found that there were 3 bolts missing. We brought the car back over to Ethiopia, however, and tied the rack onto the roof using large cable ties that the driver had in his car. This seemed to work well and so we proceeded to passport and customs, where we were given 6 months grace to keep the car in Ethiopia.
Success at last!
So now we plan to use the car for 6 months and then ship it back to the UK via Djibouti.
We stopped in Yabello for the night, in what was a very nice motel with the luxury of a hot shower. A group of Belgian tourists arrived shortly after and filled up all of the remaining rooms – lucky that we got there when we did. Having had pasta with vegetables for the previous 2 meals, I needed a change and so had pasta with tomato sauce. There isn’t a great deal of choice and I’m still not prepared to eat meat from a non-star hotel restaurant. I have developed a taste for the Gouda (pronounced ‘Gooda’) wine, and so this made the meal much more exciting. Actually, it occurred to me that I was possibly getting more calories from wine than from food. Never mind, when we get to Gimbie I am going to have a field day with all the cheese we brought over. Although we slept under nets, I seem to have picked up one mosquito bite ….. and I’m not sure what the altitude is here. Hmmm.