Friday, April 8, 2011

The Way to Al-Qallabat

We left the hotel around 9:30 am and headed to Al-Qallabat which is the border town between Sudan and Ethiopia. We had to stop several times at check posts since all foreigners need to register entry and exit. We passed several villages that are starting to take a different look than the ones we had seen in the past.

After a few hours we stopped for fuel but the petrol station didn't have any so we headed to Gedarif to fill up. On our way towards the border right before Doka we passed a couple riding bicycles from Spain who started from Sharm Al-Shaik in February. We said hello gave them our contact email in hopes that we keep in touch.

When we reached Al-Qallabat we were told to register at the local authorities, and then a fixer mentioned the need for a guarantee letter for our bikes from the embassy to enter Ethiopia. After finding a "Hotel" yard to sleep in Ali went with the fixer to the Ethiopian side to inquire about this letter since we hadn't heard of it before. It turns out it is a new rule that any foreigner needs a letter from his embassy stating that he will not sell his vehicle in Ethiopia. It is Friday, and tomorrow the Kuwait Embassy is closed for the weekend. So Ali called Mr. Adel Haider from the Kuwait embassy in Ethiopia to see about getting the document faxed to us by tomorrow when we enter Ethiopia.

An hour later the letter was ready but we needed to wait until tomorrow to get it faxed.