Date: 5th November 08
Location: Yabello, Ethiopia
Weather: Scattered clouds and the occasional shower, 26°c
Status: Waiting for a prognosis on the state of Kees’s truck…..time is ticking on!
Woke up at 6.30am and immediately were up and packing away the tent, Savannah of all people suggested that we get on the road early so that we weren’t driving in the dark at the end of the day….I secretly think its because she couldn’t use the Turkish style toilets and wanted to get to the next stop asap!
We passed swollen rivers and huge puddles and were glad not to have taken the option of going off road to the Omo valley, which although it has amazing local tribes with lip plates and all would be too much for the trucks in the rainy season!
And I really glad we didn’t take that option as 150kms down the road Kees disappeared from my rear view mirror coming down a steep slope and after 20mins of waiting Ammon and I decided to turn around and find out what the problem was….and there it was stranded by the edge of the road halfway down the slope. The constant braking and sudden gear change down to loose speed had resulted in Kees losing his clutch totally and he was now stuck fast…..with a group of at least 50 people around him already!
Ammon, Bre and I drove back into the tow to try and find a tow truck for him and after pulling into a couple of garages found an English speaking manager who returned to the scene of the problem with us on his motorbike.
Once he’d surveyed the situation and agreed a price with Kees the rescue truck came to the scene, connected a tow pole and they started the slow painful trip of 150kms to Awassa the nearest big town where we’d be able to get help….hopefully!
Ammon, Bre and I continued at a quicker pace to scope out the camping options in the town and arrived half an hour before sundown in Awassa on the shores of the lake with the same name, we made our way to the campsite listed on a few other Overlanders webpage’s and T4A to find that the lady owner had returned to Germany a few months previously!!! The guy who was looking after the place did allow us to stay however and we set up camp and waited for the tow truck and the others to arrive.
Finally around 10pm the sound of Kee’s voice greeted us as we walked down the road to find them and with some careful reversing manoeuvred the lame tortoise into its resting place for the night and probably the next few days!
End of day location: Awassa, Ethiopia
Distance covered: 294kms