The Move to Northern Ethiopia
After an amazing time in eastern and muslim ethiopia, I headed back West. I hitched a ride with a canadian aid worker into the Awash national park, home to the endemic Oryx and Kalishnikov toting tribes who, apparently, do not like having their picture taken.
After the park, I headed to the historic north. Starting in Baher Dar on the shores of Ethiopia’s largest lake; we visited hidden monasteries on various small islands. After a full day on the rickety metal boat, we made our way back to the town amidst a beautifully coloured and wavy thunderstorm. Luckily the fifteen foot snakes in the lake do not apparently enjoy the taste of human flesh.
After the island monasteries; I arrived in Gonder, home to a once powerful kingdom of emperors who ruled Ethiopia. Simply magical. The town also had the privilege of welcoming the Italians in the 1930s; and who kindly left behind fascist art deco architecture and wonderful espresso machines.
After Gonder, we headed into the misty mountains of Simien. Home to the Walia Ibex, Gelada Baboon, the Simien Wolf, and 2000 m cliff faces; the five day trek proved to be as rewarding as Kilimanjaro. In contrast to Kili where we were privy to three course meals and hot water; I cooked for my scout and mule handler – neither of whom could speak english, camped in tents, carried our own gear, and met local villagers. The simien mountains was a much more authentic, and richer, experience.
All for now, another update in the days to come.Published on June 13, 2008