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Published: April 8th 2012
The alarms were set for 4 a.m. to get the bus from Addis Ababa to Jijiga and we were in a taxi at 4.30 a.m., with our bus leaving at 5.30 a.m. This Selam Bus was the first proper coach I had taken in Ethiopia and was as good as the ones in Sudan. The road was also fairly good all along the way, which made reading possible and we even had a break for lunch.
The scenery on the stretch from Harar to Jijiga was incredible, with lots of strange rock formations. This seemed to be a pretty poverty stricken area with a lot of people living in tents by the side of the road. It was about 5 p.m. when we pulled into Jijiga. We got a tuk-tuk to bring us to a hotel recommended in the guide book, but it was booked out. We went around to about 5 others until we could find one with rooms to spare.
Jijiga was a lot busier and bigger than we had been lead to believe. We had a wander around to try find some internet cafe, but the connection was down all across town. The market was extremely
busy and the people were really friendly, with a lot less people begging than in the rest of Ethiopia. It reminded more of a Sudanese town than an Ethiopian one. They had to have the freshest eggs going, with hens actually laying eggs at the market.
However, unlike any Sudanese town, they still served beer and we had a few back at our hotel where we played an Ethiopian version of pool. I had suspicions about what the hotel doubled as when I looked at my bedsheets, but I was in bed early enough, alone!
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