Hawassa or Awassa, but it's R & R

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Mar 02, 2010

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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Sunday, February 7, 2010

After treking and kind of roughing it, having some creature comforts is nice.  The Lakeside Motel is a great place, I only was able to get a room because of a last minute cancellation.  It's relatively new, spacious, CLEAN and nicely appointed.  Plus, next door, a great Italian Restaurant, the Dolce Vita. 

Hawassa, was formerly named Awassa, lots of signs are one or the other.  It's located in the Rift Valley, flat lands, nice lake with great bird viewing.  The city is large, and has a modern cosmopolitan feel.  Located on a lake, I've decided to eat as much fish as possible while I stay. The Tillapia is as fresh as you can get.  One morning I stroll down to the fish market, watch the local fishermen bringing in their early morning catch.  Most of it is going to either Addis or staying here in town.  But there are a few makeshift 'restaurants' along the shoreline, so I decide to try the 'catch of the day'.  It's fried up while I wait, sit down on a log, small bench is the table, and go at it with my fingers.  Yummy!!  Finish it off with an orange soda.  Breakfast of Champions??

I need a haircut, my barber's are Miky and Jossey.  The pattern in Ethiopia among the men I have met is to chat you up, then start asking for one thing or another.  I saw these two guys a few times during my stay here, became friends, and they never asked for anything.  It was a very nice change from the norm.  One evening we went dancing, and unlike North America, men dance with men.  We had a great time.  Went to a traditional dance location first, struggled as always with the shoulder moves.  Later we went to a modern club, and showed them how to do the 'bump' from the 80's.  They thought it was something they would add to their dance floors moves. 

I have some good photo's to add when I get home of the lake and birds.  I miss my camera from the pickpocket loss in Addis, but some of the shots are good.  Hawassa is very busy over the weekend..graduations, football and track competitions, even a marching band. 
If I had to spend an extended period of time in an Ethiopian city, Hawassa, would be my first choice, with Dire Dawa in second.

My next journey will be to Arba Minch, about a 7 hour bus ride on mostly gravel roads. 
The hotel manager at the Lakeside in Hawassa has offered to give me a 5:00 AM motorcycle ride to the bus station.  I gladly accept his offer, it's about a 4 KM trip and there are no taxi's or tuk-tuks available this early from the hotel location.

Hawassa has certainly been a pleasant find, and almost hassle free.

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   ?????????????????  JUST HAPPENED

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