Greetings from the equator – my name is ELAO NATNAS I am the official mascot for team Lipstick.
My main task is to watch over their security, supervise their driving skills and putting the daily blogs together.
I am very privileged to accompany them through the continent of Africa and I have learned a lot of things. Previously I thought that Mosquitos are a rare mountain tribe of people in Mexico but to my horror I found that they definitely to not belong to any endangered species in Africa. They are present wherever we put foot or tyre.
Around my head I wear a little bell which sounds ringing tones when going through potholes in order to warn Andre and Willy from these dangerous and so unnecessary African brand marks.
Previously I thought potholes can only be found in old rusty kitchen ware – but believe me- they cover more of Africa’s roads then all the combined tar ever put on to them.
I must admit my bell is a bit small and on the next trip I will use some bigger bells maybe the types and size of those used in Notre Dame – maybe I can then assist Andre and Willy to avoid driving through these road canyons.
Thanks to all out there who send messages to the teams which make up the ELAO group of adventurers? Whenever possible I am downloading and printing these messages and they are read out after Dinner. The teams are all very proud that so many of you send them messages from home and they greet all their family and friends back home or wherever in the world they are. Messages received so far came from as far as Malaysia, Canada, Australia Germany as well as so many from South Africa.
It is impossible to reply to you all individually as time and Internet connection is in short supply.
Sometimes it is not possible to get on the Internet for some days but whenever possible we will update this blog with all the news as they come along.
The teams are faced with news that it is still not possible to drive through Lybia and that their fall-back position – the Visamar ferry from Alexandria – has now stopped operating due to the political situation in Syria.
The teams great friends in Venice – Vera and Vito – however established that the Grimaldini Line is offering their container ships for transferring vehicles and bikes from Alexandria to Salerno in Italy. They can also take up to 12 passengers.
This news was received with great joy and I am tasked to send big thanks to our friends in Italy.
From Nairobi the team will start tomorrow to head north on the way to Ethiopia and from what I heard from other travellers this will become quite a task – my research through Lonely Planet showed me the following article.
Adventurers required to boldly go where few have gone before.
We are searching for daring explorers to challenge themselves against one of the most exciting wilderness in Africa. This role will most suit somebody able to withstand appalling roads that would shake a lesser mortal into submission searing heat, clouds of dust and sand torn up by relentless winds, primitive food and accommodation, vast distances and more than a hint of danger.
The generous compensation package offered to the successful applicant will include memories of vast shattered lava deserts, camel herders walking their animals to lost oases, fog-shrouded mountains full of mysterious creatures, prehistoric islands crawling with massive reptiles, jokes shared with traditionally dressed warriors and nights spent in smoky village huts.
Additional perks will include camel trekking through piles of peachy dunes , elephant encounters in scrubby acacia woodlands , nights spent out in the open wishing upon shooting stars and , of course, the chance to walk barefoot along the fabled shores of a sea of Jade.
I think this job vacancy is like tailor made for team Lipstick and all the other members of the Elao tour – so I am very excited and am looking forward to the next few days – hopefully I will be able to update you soon but latest when we arrive in Addis Ababa somewhere around the beginning of July.
So in the meantime all the best to you all out there – regards from Africa, thanks for all the messages, forgiving all the spelling mistakes and keeping the teams in your mind.
Yours in adventure..
Kwa Heri ….. (Swaheli for Goodbye )