• Into abundance: Turkana to Kisumu

    With a couple of weeks in a relatively remote South Omo Valley in Ethiopia warming us up for the 4-day stretch in a truly remote west Turkana in Kenya we learned what water insecurity means, how nearest power lines 100 km away affect the quality of life, what sand does to your buggers, and what daily 40 degrees Celsius in a shade feels like. As an add on, common things we are used to seeing morphed into new shapes and meanings. Goats The stretch of Omo Valley up to Omorate was just an introduction to the realities of the Turkana. There are a few things in abundance here: sun, sand,…

  • Crossing Ethiopian – Kenyan border and cycling in Turkana, Kenya

    After a brutal 4 day ride we have finally reached our first bigger civilization in 3 weeks. Lodwar is a provincial capital of Turkana County and its biggest town. We are in Kenya. Kenya and Lodwar gave us a few “firsts”! Here we have tried a first yogurt in two months. We were asked for a bribe and reluctantly gave one, also very first 🙂 The bribe. The worst is that later I found out this bribe/fee was completely unnecessary for our proceedings and we could have simply refused one. I guess it is same in most cases with the bribe giving. Kenya – Ethiopia border crossing at Todonyang does…

  • Cycling the rough roads of South Omo, Ethiopia

    Omo Valley is a remote tribal region tucked in South Western corner of Ethiopia. It is rapidly changing though. Various mega agricultural and hydropower projects plus ever expanding tourism sector is inevitably changing the face of the Omo Valley region. One young Karo (tribe known for its intricate body painting rituals Korcho man told us that even some 10 years ago their village did not had any bars. He probably saw his first white person only at the age of 9 (he is 24 now). Nowadays his Korcho village hosts at least two bars powered by diesel generators with music mercilessly blasting popular Ethiopian music and probably at least ten…

  • Chasing wolves in Bale Mountains. 6 day brake from cycling.

    But it is all about money, or maybe about not knowing what to do with one’s money, or maybe nothing is complete, or maybe… Our guide Mohamed knows a thing or two about money and about the meaning of life. He definitely knows about Bale. Born and raised in Bale. Now I am blanking on how many years he works as a guide, definitely more than 7. I believe he told once that 10 years. He is 33 years old. Bale Mountains National Park is a vast plateau with its peaks and valleys that was our next destination. We wanted to hike, to backpack far and deep, to loose people,…

  • Cycling from Adama to Bale Mountains National Park

    As we move further towards our next destination – Bale Mountains National Park – we discover a completely different Oromo. Same Ethiopia, even same federal region (Oromo), but our cycling experience changed with each kilometer we pedaled South. We took Adama – Dinsho highway that goes straight South via Asella town. It is a very good quality paved road. It’s elevation profile is much friendlier for cyclists than our previous route to Harar. You still get hills and plenty of climbing but as you cross the Rift Valley you also get stretches of flat(ish) riding via lush farmlands and some distant mountains in your side view. It reminded us pretty…

  • Cycling from Addis Ababa to Ethiopia’s East and highlights of Harar

    Captain’s thoughts We are little over two weeks in this unique country. First thing – cycling is really hard here. It is a very mountainous terrain. Every direction which is further than 100 km you will have to do some continuous climbing. On a loaded tandem bicycle climbing is always slow, on your lowest gear. This slow speed inevitably allows all the local children to not only run by your side but also to investigate what is in your panniers, or have a lot of fun while trying to provoke you for racing with them. If you happen to be sensitive to touching and constant attention, well, this might be…

  • Droplets of Addis Ababa /Addis Ababa trupineliai

    1. Visa. We land from Istanbul on Monday, just around midnight, so it’s nearly Tuesday. We had 7th row seats so we’re pretty much the first to get off the plane and come to the visa-on-arrival windows. Well, guess what, we overlooked that Lithuanian passport is good for e-visa but not for one at the airport. We are nicely asked to fill out the electronic application using a great Wi-Fi at the airport. Then we are taken to their office to wait for approval. The problem is, it’s midnight and consular officers are asleep. After several call attempts to their main office, we’re being told it may take until 12…

  • İstanbul güzel

    After just two hours of sleep and eyes wide open you wander if the day has started already? It’s just a little bit after midnight. It’s pitch dark outside, most of your 17 million neighbors are still asleep. Do you follow their call for some quiet and rest? Should you tamper with almost uncontrollable flow of ruthless reciting of everything what happened yesterday, day before yesterday? Just 4 days ago you were kneeling on the Lake Shore Drive bike trail, looking closely at the bike’s crank arm and trying to figure out how to mount the pedal back. Kindness of the universe was already manifesting itself in newly acquired friend,…

  • Kokopelli Trail: rigid tandem and soft so(u)les. November 2017

    Igna and I finally bought ourselves train tickets. The train will take us to Grand Junction, Colorado. From Grand Junction we are going to bike to MOAB, Utah – arguably mecca of the mountain biking. From Grand Junction we are going to take Kokopelli Trail all the way to MOAB. I will be doing a series of updates to this page to document this coming adventure. At the same time, I will post these updates as a separate post for the ease of navigating. I do not write much on this blog nowadays but this trip, in particular, is a good place to start. Let me briefly introduce you to…