Kyle in Lake Assal, Djbouti

Friday, December 17, 2010

3o Days

The Low2High: Africa expedition will official begin in 30 days on the shore of Lake Assal, Djibouti. Final preparations are being made to prepare my body and all my equipment for 3 months of cycling through east Africa.

At this point, before the expedition even starts, it's overwhelming to think about what I'm going to attempt to do. To ease my mind, I break it up into stages, and each stage into smaller goals. Trying to think about everything that needs to happen before I trek up the edge of Uhuru Peak almost makes me nauseous. This is the largest project I've ever put together, and from January 16 on, it's a solo journey. I know that once I'm on the road, I can only plan one or two days at a time or I risk mental exhaustion.

The first stage is the bicycle tour from Lake Assal, Djibouti to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I think that Addis will be a good opportunity to take a break. It's a familiar city, I have contacts there, and I'll be able to sort out my remaining visas. The second stage is the longest, cycling from Addis Ababa to Moshi, Tanzania. From southern Ethiopia on, it will be unfamiliar turf for two solid months through four countries. Stage 3, I get off the bike and trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I'm feeling good. I am in shape, and my bicycle is ready. The last remaining equipment I need is for the documentary. I have made arrangements to get a microphone and camera clamp into Ethiopia which will aid in my filmmaking. Once that gear arrives, all my equipment will be sorted.

To close out Peace Corps, I need to travel to Addis Ababa and sign some documents. I will do that next month, and while I'm there I will get my visa for Djibouti and a new Ethiopian visa. I'll be here as a tourist when I come back through, and my current work visa will no longer be valid. Ethiopia might not let me have 2 valid visas at the same time (one working, one tourist), so I might have to get my Ethiopian tourist visa in Djibouti City before I come back through. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.


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