Erin's Tour d'Afrique Bike of a Blog!
An 8,000 mile personal and philanthropic adventure across Africa…

The Best-Named City in Africa

The award for the best and coolest-named city in Africa…goes to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! After grinding our way through the highlands this week, we arrived at a long-anticipated rest day in a relative urban metropolis. It’s funny- many friends of mine who have visited Addis consider it something of a dump (and it is). But to 65 cyclists who have been camping without showers, toilets or any semblance of civilization…it has been a small dose of paradise! Cashing in on about five years of very hard-earned American Express points, I booked the nicest hotel in town, a massage and a pedicure. The cotton sheets had me at hello, and the pedicure almost had me booking the next flight back to Manhattan. 🙂 Judge me if you want on these small tokens of luxury in Africa, but I believe in a work hard play hard approach to life. It is always tough to balance chores, rest and exploration on rest days, but in Addis most of the riders ended up lounging away the day at hotel pools and bars. I spent the day eating, relaxing and eating some more with other riders enjoying our hard-earned rest.

Finally arriving in Addis is very major for us- we have completed desert, offroad and hill-climbing sections of the Tour, many of which will be considered among the toughest upon the elusive and distant finish line in Cape Town. Even though we have so far left to go, we are about a third of the way done with an odyssey that I’m not sure I want to end. Perhaps that’s why Odysseus took twenty years or so to get home…he was simply having too much fun on his adventure to return right away. My riding partner for this week, an outspoken Canadian named Jen, told me an African proverb that I have inadvertently invoked on my Tour d’Afrique experience so far: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This trip is quick, far, personal and collective…and I am excited about how far we have left to go together.

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3 Responses to “The Best-Named City in Africa”

  1. Er,
    It was a nice surprise to hear your voice on the phone. Glad you were able to relax and enjoy some comforts. Keep up the good work, be safe. We miss you and love you. MOM

  2. Er,
    It was a nice surprise to hear your voice on the phone. Glad you were able to relax and enjoy some comforts. Keep up the good work, have fun and be safe. We miss you and love you. MOM

  3. Erin,
    I am Dana’s “Aunt Margie” in CT. She has emailed our family about you and has said some wonderful things about how your friendship has blossomed. We all hope you are feeling better and are able to resume riding soon. You are all very determined and “tough” women and I am deeply impressed. Hope to someday meet you.


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