Ethiopia Travel Stories, Page 8

Road to Mojo, Ethiopia

Road to Mojo, Ethiopia
The trip to Mojo, Ethiopia was uneventful for me, however I suspect for the first time African traveler it would be outlandish. I left the Wanza Hotel in Addis, Ababa and took a 30 Burr Taxi to the “Le Gare” or Mojo Bus stop, whereby I took a 12 Burr mid-range bus to Mojo, Ethiopia. The road was full of construction leaving the city and a two-lane asphalt highway after we cleared the construction.

The road follows along the path of a train track; however, I never saw any trains on the railroad.

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Mojo, Ethiopia
One to Two Hours South of Addis, Ababa
East Africa
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Travel Journal
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Inside the mid-range size bus, they did not over-crowd this bus; however, they made me sit in front excessively close to the loud music being played.

My first impression of this 40 Mile stretch of Ethiopia was of Trucks, and more Trucks, and a few more Trucks. It was like driving into an industrial park, and then along the road I sometime smelled wet or fresh concrete because there on the whole stretch is was rare to not be able to look over and see large building being built.

I believe South of Addis Ababa all the way to Mojo is more or less becoming a huge industrial area with many type of business ventures.

The obvious ones already in operation were:

Leather Tanneries
Knitting
Marble
Large Green Houses
A few Chinese Signs on Building
Textiles

Strangely, at about 11:00 am in the morning on a Wednesday I did not see anyone working on the new construction. It become very hot and gravel feeling as you leave Addis Ababa, not many crops growing, however a lot of Cattle, Goats, Horses and Donkeys.

I asked for Chicken last night in the Rutti Kaffee and they told me there was no Chicken, I have not seen a Chicken as best I can remember.

Economics

Road to Mojo, Ethiopia


ATM or Bank Machines in Ethiopia

ATM or Bank Machines in Ethiopia
As best I can figure, the Dashen Bank is the only Bank in Ethiopia that provides ATM - Automatic Teller Machines for travelers or tourist to extract travel cash.

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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Here is a bad photo of the Bank Sign near the Wanza Hotel, here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



I went to the one near the Hotel and took a photo of the list of locations in the country that have ATM machines… I think.

I think these are cities.

Awassa - South of Addis Ababa
Bahir Dar
Mekele
Nazareth
Gonar
Harar
Dire
Jimma

I have not idea if correct, however better than normal chance to find an ATM machine in these locations.

Note, this is not a tip, something that should be in the Guidebook and is not properly done. I feel a traveler code of conduct to tell other travelers the path, when nobody has marked it.

Hobo’s would mark their path, give other Hobos the what’s up on where, when, how, why…. The arrow symbol at the top of each page of HoboTraveler.com is a Hobo marking.

Money, - ATM or Bank Machines

ATM or Bank Machines in Ethiopia


Do You Need Ethiopia Photos

Do You Need Ethiopia Photos
People need photos for many reason, a year ago when I was roaming around West Africa the editor of the Guidebook, Roughguide West Africa editor contacted me and I took many photos for him.

It was photos on demand… oops; I forgot to look at the Roughguide West Africa to see my photos when I was home.

Ok, the Editor would email me many times, sometimes daily and say,
“I need photo of Papaya, Coconuts,”
Normally adding a request like,
“A man using a machete to cut up Coconuts.”

It cost a lot of money to travel to Ethiopia. Do you need photos; I enjoy taking photos for MONEY, and enjoy the hunt.

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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I will write a Travel Tips with the solution
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I enjoy searching around for photos especially when it is a challenge.

Hmm, the fee is 50 dollar per Photo used, however please realize, I normally would take about 10 Photos of each subject so you can evaluate and make a decision. I do not just send you one photo and say, take it or leave it, I send you hundreds of small photos and you choose, then I send you the big ones after you pay with Paypal.com.

This is fun for me, gives me a project, and makes walking around the world enjoyable and profitable.

NOTE: I do not take photos for NGO - Non Governmental Organizations unless they have an office here, I do not help people to scam people out of donations.

This is “Good Fun” as the Brits say and helps me to travel through Africa.

I hope to visit on this trip Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania and maybe keep going south to South Africa, if you are really energetic and rich, Sudan or Somalia… there will be Visa and other cost involved…. hehehe

Click on “Contact” on the online version of the Blog. Travel Journal

Photos Photography Pictures

Do You Need Ethiopia Photos


Make and Carry Checklist Travel Tip

Make and Carry Checklist Travel Tip
There are cities that I call “Base Camps,” or “Stocking up Cities,” these are locations where I can re-supply with essential items.

Example a true Traveler checklist story…

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Travel Journal --- What is your travel problem?
I will write a Travel Tips with the solution
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I am in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when I read the Guidebook or the Encyclopedia Encarta it is scary. The writers portray the county as a place that is dirt road and remote areas full of primitive tribes.

I am in Addis, Ababa, it is modern city that sells about anything a traveler could want or need. It is truly a great base camp to start or stage a trip into East Africa.

For this week and “always,” I had a piece of paper in my back pocket of my pants and a pen. As I walked around, as I read my book, as I eat my dinner, I add or remove items to buy or do from my checklist.

NOTE: The list is much shorter, however I wrote out the long-version so you can see, feel and understan the necessity level.

1. Print off PDF file of Lonely Planet Southern Ethiopia in Internet Café. HIGH PRIORITY

2. Buy Electric Hot Plate

3. Go to ATM and take out money - HIGH PRIORITY

4. Buy plastic pitcher to boil water

5. Buy map of country

6. Get list of ATM locations in country - HIGH PRIORITY

7. Buy a new lock to replace the one the airport cut off

8. 220 Light bulb

9. Alcohol for fuel to cook

10. Laundry soap

I now have everything on the list except:
Map, Alcohol, Plastic Pitcher

I am like a carpenter, “I carry things both ways,” I seldom make special trips, when I am walking around the city, because this list has been written down, I tend to remember to search for the items.

Checklist, - Base Camp, - Stocking Up Cities, - Planning

Make and Carry Checklist Travel Tip


Addis Ababa to Debre Zeyit Mojo Nazret

Addis Ababa to Debre Zeyit Mojo Nazret
I am planning to leave Addis, Ababa Wednesday morning March 4th and travel to one of the these three cities.

Debre Zeyit
Mojo
Nazret

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
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I will write a Travel Tips with the solution
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I would prefer to go to Mojo; however, it is possible it is just an intersection and not a proper village. I am hoping the buses are the hop on, hop off style and not too serious. I suspect there are mall vans that travel between these cities.

Nonetheless, the reason for small trip is to learn about transportation, banks, and internet, plus go to a lower altitude to wash my long pants while wearing my shorts, it is cold in Addis Ababa at night.

It is about 350 miles as the crow flies from Addis Ababa to the border or Kenya. If I do a 50 mile hops I would get there in about 7 days, then if I stayed in each city for two day the whole trip would another 14 days.

7 Days of travel
14 days of living
22 days of travel time between Addis Ababa and the border of Kenya.

If you know me, this means nothing, it could be five times longer or even shorter, and I truly do not care. I am just planning my normal jostle down the road travel method. This type of travel makes life fun and easy, no long trips, no long trips of misery, just small little hops between various cultures of Ethiopia.

The country of Ethiopia is big, about 78 million people and the roads lead in a few directions, I am planning to travel from Egypt to Ethiopia in the future so I will leave the top portion of this country for a later date.

There is also a theory of travel where a person would shoot on through the countries very fast and return later to enjoy the place of enjoyment. This is the problem when the guidebook writer have cars, they can make many short trips back and forth, they truly do not have to travel linear, it skews their explanations.

Addis Ababa to Debre Zeyit Mojo Nazret


Lada a Russian Car in Ethiopia

Lada a Russian Car in Ethiopia
I have been using these blue taxis here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and finally I asked the driver,
“What type of car is this?”
He said
“Lada, Russian.”

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Travel Journal --- What is your travel problem?
I will write a Travel Tips with the solution
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The Brand or Mark of this car is “Lada,” if you look close; the mud flap has the word “Lada” written on it. I believe the majority of the taxis are older; they are missing the “Lada” emblems on their sides. I can find the word “Lada” on the steering while and on the front grill.

I was expecting it to be a Korean car and was surprised to learn about this Russian mark called Lada.

I would feel more inclined to support the American car manufacturers in their 2008-9 Economic bailouts if this was an American car. Mercedes, BMW and Volvo are expensive cars, however they are sold around the planet, and I seldom see an American car outside the USA.

The automobile industry is a multinational business, this means they have to compete with multiple nations. I feel that any business that can dominate the world also will dominate the USA.

Made in the USA is great, however sold outside the USA is better. This is the game we are playing, we want to export more than we import. Capitalism, free markets, merits and competition, this is the foundation of the USA economy; I truly hope we allow it to work. I believe the free market system will eventually evolve to where all countries are of equal development and economic standards, without this system, it seems to me that underdeveloped nations have less chance to develop or all the others develop and the USA stops.

Cars or Automobiles, - Transportation, - Economics

Lada a Russian Car in Ethiopia


Tourist Map Problems Travel Tips

Tourist Map Problems Travel Tips
Tourist maps or maps from guidebooks help you to find tourist attractions; they do not show the travel difficulties of mountains and rivers well.

When you look at maps of countries, you need to find three to four types of maps, one is not sufficient. For educational purposes, I am going to show you three types of maps.

Compare Maps to understand a country quickly.

1. Guidebook Tourist and Road Map
2. Encarta Encyclopedia Comprehensive view
3. Encarta Encyclopedia Physical Features view

The maps of Lonely Planet are good. I opted to buy the Lonely Planet guidebook for Ethiopia on a PDF file; I am trying to read it on my computer. I am not able to just flip back and forth between maps and text, truly the book form is much better.

I am having trouble understanding how to travel in Ethiopia.

What caused the problem?

My vision of Ethiopia prior to coming here was from news reports of starving people in Ethiopia in the desert. When I think of Ethiopia, I think of deserts. I keep thinking this country is flat, and the guidebook map does not help…
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Travel Journal --- What is your travel problem?
I will write a Travel Tips with the solution
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The map from my PDF file of Lonely Planet Southern Ethiopia.

This is a tourist map. This is a road map. It does not show mountains and rivers well, and fails to show size of cities.

Problem, it is focused only on the tourist attractions.

WARNING - African guidebooks assume you are driving a car, I could get to one of these locations on the map and there may not be a Hotel, and normally the guidebook writers are on a budget five times higher than me.



Notice how there is mountains and rivers, however obscured by the cities and roads.

This is comprehensive view from the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia map; I 100 percent recommend a traveler have this program.
This is a wide view; I can zoom in right down to the specific areas of the map.

I can find the size of cities, the roads, names of cities, however much different from the guidebook. I cannot find tourist attractions; however, I can find reality better with this map, and not only what the guidebook writer considered important. I will read the articles for example and learn what they grow or manufacture in this country, it may not be interesting to tourist, and however it may be to me.



This is the Physical View on my Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia map of Ethiopia. Suddenly all the rivers, mountains and contours of the land stick out.

What have I finally learned about Ethiopia?

Addis, Ababa the biggest city is up on top of a mountain or plateau, when I go south I will descend into the Rift Valley, which leads towards Kenya. Traveling in Valleys is easier than traveling in Mountains and also warmer, being I only have one pair of long pants and many pairs of shorts this is important.

Maps, - Routes, - Guidebooks

Tourist Map Problems Travel Tips


Southern Sudan Independence Vote 2011

Southern Sudan Independence Vote 2011
“Southern Sudan will be voting for full independence in 2011. As I understand it, it is predominantly a split between the north (Muslim) and south (mostly indigenous beliefs & Christian).”
Wiki Southern Sudan

Eric
- Comment made at African DMZ of Christian and Islam

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
East Africa
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Travel Journal --- What is your travel problem?
I will write a Travel Tips with the solution
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This type of information is valuable if you are planning a trip to East Africa. Presently many people are trying to get Visas to Sudan in Egypt and Ethiopia. It is easier to get a Visa in Egypt for the Sudan than in Ethiopia.

I am told that you can get the Visa to Sudan in Egypt if you can get a letter from your Embassy. This is not easy with the American Embassy and they have a policy again it, however you can work you way around this issue, with either money or waiting for them to give up.

Thanks Eric for this notification about the Sudan.

Politics, - Changes Need In Country, - Country Facts

Southern Sudan Independence Vote 2011