This photo shows four people sitting on the roof of the truck as we drove through northern Ethiopia
View from Christie’s roof seats

No, it’s not what you’re thinking!

As I explained in a previous post, Christie, the truck we travelled around Ethiopia in, was fitted with roof seats. Mark made full use of this facility every time it was offered, but I was a little more reluctant, put off by the dust and the rough terrain.  However, on the drive from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, when Kate, our tour leader, decided to open them up, with 65km still to go, I decided to go for it!  

At first, it was a bit hair-raising because the road was incredibly bumpy.  I was a huge fan of roller-coasters when I was a teenager, but that was more years ago than I care to remember and things have changed!  However, I was won over by the fantastic views and really began to enjoy myself!  I could even cope with the dust!

The views were incredible!


The dust from oncoming traffic was troublesome
Enjoying the roof seats!

One of the villages we passed

We drove through several villages and attracted a lot of attention from the locals, especially the children. They waved to us and shouted greetings and we reciprocated. When they good-naturedly asked for money or pens, we told them we didn’t have any and, on the whole, they accepted ‘no’ for an answer. Some of the children, though, pretended to throw stones at us and became quite aggressive in the things they shouted.  It started to feel a bit scary.  Our sense of unease grew as we ascended further into the

Children dancing in the middle of the road

mountains.  Here, we often saw groups of children standing in the middle of the road.  As we approached in the truck, they started showing off – dancing and doing handstands.  We clapped and cheered, but they were clearly disappointed when we didn’t reward them by giving them money.  One or two of them actually threw stones at us.  Before we had chance to assess the situation and decide whether or not to descend from our vulnerable position on the roof, one of these stones hit me square on the side of my head!  I didn’t see it coming! One of my travelling companions did, but it all happened too fast for him to warn me. Fortunately, the stone hit the arm of my sunglasses before being deflected and catching the side of my nose, so there was no real damage done! The incident did, however, put me off riding in the roof seats again during the trip, even though we had no further cases of being hit by stones.

Another great view!

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