Gonder to Axum via Shire

After an exhausting 13 hours drive from Gonder with four breakdowns we finally reached Shire in the dark. We had to leave our bus in front of the bus station’s gate to get our luggage from the roof. Because there was a bunch of people hassling all passengers the driver decided to pass the gate. We walked after the bus and were stopped at the gate by an armed guard who didn’t want to let us in. One guy from the bus’ staff wanted to help us reaching our luggage was even beaten by the guard! Thanks to him we finally got our backpacks. There was much more hassle there, everybody asked for money (even for pointing out the direction to our hotel). So keep an keen eye on your belongings and be aware of lots of hassling. On the next day we wanted to go to Axum. We were told that all local busses were occupied so we tried to take a minibus. But the aggressive staff there wanted us to pay 60 USD per person before entering! So we refused and asked for a local bus again and – surprise- there were two seats for us for 50 Birr each (about 2,5 times of the regulare fare – not negotiable). During the ride we were told by other passengers that two locals had to leave the bus beacuse of us and the chance to earn more money. We felt very ashamed. If we would have known earlier we wouldn’t have taken this bus.

Michael & Nadine Bettzuege

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