It took us less then expected time out of Addis Ababa and the Garmins worked well in getting us on the road to Dahir Bar within 30 minutes.

We soon climbed to over 3500m into the mountainous highlands of Ethiopias and again saw very fertile lands and farming operations alongside the road. Everything looked very green and flourishing even at these high altitudes.

Some 2 hours later we had to descent to some 1400 m with a very winding road having the occasional huge sized potholes. The downhill action required frequent breaking and before sinking into a huge pot hole Andre had to press the brakes with full force.

Immediately thereafter the brakes failed and Andre had to use the handbrake to its maximum and also put Lipstick in low gear. The width of the road between Mountain and downhill did not allow team Lipstick to stop and having informed Bulldog and Icevan by radio all decided it would be best to make it down to the valley in low gear using the motor as the main break.

Through radio conversation all members were of the opinion that the brake fluid must have overheated causing airlocks. Through frequent slight tapping of the brake pedal Andre emptied the air out of the circuit and just before reaching the bottom Lipstick had regained its full breaking capacity.

Soon thereafter another rainstorm hit the teams and for the next 1.5 hours it meant driving through heavy rain. Everyone was convinced that whilst in Ethiopia the daily rain storm around 3pm would be with them and that they better plan this in.

Arriving in Bahir Dar the team decided not to stay in the Ghion camping site as this has obviously passed its expiry date.. after checking and rejecting two other Hotel possibilities the teams finally settled into the Bahir Dar hotel despite the absence of hot water and broken toilet seats.

Winding roads in the Ethiopian highlands…

 

From 2600m to 1200m within 4km – brake failure

 

Some sections are sheer gravel roads

Some sections are sheer gravel roads

 

but finally arriving in Bahir Dar

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