Return to Addis after the Awassa Fish Market

Trip Start Oct 11, 2012
Trip End Nov 19, 2012

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Where I stayed
Ghion Hotel Addis Ababa
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Lake Awassa fish market
Habesha Cultural Restaurant

Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Friday, October 26, 2012

As we drove north to Addis, the roads and traffic became worse - especially the pollution from the exhaust.  However, as usual, there were sights to be seen:  haystacks, people working in fields, different kinds of cactus fences, different conveyances and the cattle and goats crossing the road, the poor overloaded donkeys.  Barbara was in the front seat taking loads of photos but then she slowed down as Sue took over her role and was snapping photos left and right of the typical scenes of Ethiopia that she didn't want to leave behind unrecorded.  I had a battery crisis, but then I found the logical place where I had put a spare and was back in business.  I can't say that I scored any monumental photos, but I was happy taking more photos of all the wondrous sights that remind me of the two weeks I have spent here so far.

We drove to Lake Awassa first since it is close to the hot springs resort.  The fish market was fun with the marabou storks fighting for fish guts, etc.  First we looked at the fish cleaning room.  There was a young boy who was stripping fish in some way by using his teeth or lips.  I really didn't notice him until later and my photos don't really show what he was doing.  There was a spot where fresh, raw fish were served with a chile sauce. 

Next we walked over to the lakeside where the fishermen were gathering up their nets and the storks and pelicans were trying to get more to eat.  Boys would feed the birds for tourists to take photos and then look for payment.  On another side of the field was a building that housed quite a few fish frying stalls.  Men or women would fry up whole fish in large wok-like pans and serve the fried fish with lemon juice.  The patrons sat at tables across from the stalls.  There was a separate lemon vendor at the end.  Doris bought a fish and they wrapped it in a newspaper for her.  She offered me some and it was really good.  Tilapia is the fish of choice here.  I think almost all the fish we saw or ate were tilapia.  I was later told by someone in the US that tilapia were imported to Africa and that they are killing off all of the indigenous fish....that it is a disaster.

After the lake, it was basically a longish push to Addis.  5 hours I believe.  Once we got back, Kibrom had the drivers stop at a coffee shop where we could buy roasted coffee to take back home.  The next stop was a street with souvenir shops where Anne could buy her scarves for gifts and others, whatever they were looking for.  I bought a whole bunch of post cards.  Now I need to write them up and finds stamps.  We went back to the hotel where the people flying were given day rooms and those of us who were staying were given regular rooms.  Annie had booked hers and it got included in her tour.  The rest of us not.  I offered to share with Martina since she had had a shared room with Andrew and was now on her own.  We got a room on the 3rd floor and it was a drag to have to walk all the way up there.  I can't remember exactly when we met to go out for dinner.  What I have forgotten to mention during this blog so far is altitude - Addis is around 7550 ft (2300 meters) above sea level.  I may have been feeling the effects of the higher altitude.  Lake Awassa was 1700 meters so maybe I shouldn't have been feeling effects of altitude??

Dinner was at an Ethiopian restaurant with music and dancing - the Habesha Cultural Restaurant.  I loved the buffet with Ethiopian and other food.  I would have taken some of everything, but only got half way across or maybe only left one little section untasted.  I finished way after everyone else and didn't get my hands washed with the ewer as they did.  The dancers wore lots of different costumes and did some spectacular shoulder and head -shaking.  Some people tried the honey mead...I think it is called tej.  Whatever it was, I had a sip but didn't really like it.

We didn't stay that long at the restaurant and continued on to the airport to see off the travelers.  Somehow I lost Jill's card but Shauneen is supposed to send out the emails so I hope to be able to get it from her.  The rest of us went back in two cars - ours got a little lost but eventually we got back to the Ghion.  It wasn't all that late, but Martina and I both went to bed fairly soon.  It had been another fun-filled day in Ethiopia, but it was sad to see most of the group go.  We thought we might see some of the others the next day, but never did.

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