The Cycling Canadian »

March 11, 2011 – 7:21 pm

I admit it. This picture was taken a few years ago, but I think I still look vaguely like that. Depends on the day (and the time of day). And today, just before I uploaded this picture, an Indonesian English student told me how much she liked my nose. I heard that a lot in Indonesia. Apparently, a large nose like mine is a good …

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040 – To Bahir Dar

November 11, 1998 – 9:20 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

“Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation”
Inside the bus to Bahir Dar there was a big poster of Jesus on his knees looking heavenward and praying. A tiny angel hovered above him holding a glass of some kind. The caption read, “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.” I had a long time to look at that sentence and think about …

039 – A Night in Amanuel

November 10, 1998 – 9:16 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

The Toe TAL Hoe Tal
The town that Azmo had sent me to was called Amanuel and it was as he said only 5 km away. But it was all uphill and I was soon reduced to pushing the bike almost continuously. I tried from time to time to pedal, but my rear wheel simply spun out from under me on the loose rock.
I looked at …

038 – Slowing Down and Taking Pictures

November 9, 1998 – 8:53 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

Debre Markos was more complicated than most of the towns I’d passed through and it wasn’t entirely clear which road was the one that led out of town and headed north. I stopped to question a group of young boys, but they all pointed in different directions and I left them still arguing amongst themselves. The men wrapped up tightly in their shammas against the …

037 – Debre Markos

November 8, 1998 – 10:42 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

A Close Look at my Tormenters
The next day’s cycling passed in what had become a familiar pattern. There were some enjoyable moments. These tended to be the ones where I could block out the children. And there were the not so enjoyable ones when I turned into the raving lunatic. I got so distraught I could have fallen to my knees and pleaded with them …

036 – Into The Gorge

November 7, 1998 – 8:29 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

It was still dark at 5:35 in the morning when I stepped outside my room. There was a hard cold wind blowing but the sky was clear. I could see the stars.
Occasionally I heard the sound of one of the big dinosaur trucks roaring down the road. Traffic had started. Like me they were making the trip into the gorge as early as possible, hoping …

035 – Goha Tsiyon

November 6, 1998 – 10:27 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

Dula Deterrent
The map of Ethiopia which I’d bought in Canada was proving extremely inaccurate when it came to the names of towns, their positions and the distances between them. But I’d learned to trust it when it came to topography and so I wasn’t surprised when immediately outside of Gomando/Fiche the road began to climb. According to my map I would climb to well over …

034 – Gomando

November 5, 1998 – 10:18 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

“Father, father, where are you go?”
Five minutes into the new day and I already had my first entourage of children. They didn’t call me “ferenji”, however. Not even “you you.” It seems I’d been promoted. I was now “father.” “Father, father, where are you go?” cried the children.
All in all I thought it a great improvement. The ‘father’ denoted a certain respect and the ‘where …

033 – Muketuri

November 4, 1998 – 10:13 pm
Tiru Gondar Sons_opt

The Land
The next morning the manager and the two young men watched with mute disappointment as one by one I carried my bags out into the street and attached them to my bike. Their eyes followed each one with a “give me” appeal that for once went unvoiced.
It was a bright and cold morning and Sululta’s main street was already filled with farmers tightly wrapped …