Bahir Dar - Pelican Central

Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
Trip End Jun 12, 2006

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Friday, December 30, 2005

After about 24 hours and plenty of complementary London Pride on the BA flight I finally made it to Bahir Dar on the edge of Lake Tana. I tried to ignore the burned out plane just off the runway at Addis Ababa. The scenery was fantastic from Addis, a sort of green and brown patchwork with trees every now and again where the villages were.

The guy in the hotel mentioned my room would be 2 minutes, it ended up being 4 hours - A sign of things to come I think! While waiting in the hotel grounds I managed to spot pelicans, lovebirds kingfishers, hawks, hornbills, monkeys and more all within 10 minutes - I think I'm going to like this place!

Did an afternoon trip to the Blue Nile Falls, a bit of a disappointment - only 10 percent of the water actually goes over the falls now, the rest is sucked up by a hydro electric plant. The landscape and villages were fantastic though so that made up for a lot.

Met a nice family called the Tetts who I spent the next couple of days with, had dinner with them that evening and sampled my first Ethiopian beer, called St. George! An excellent day.

Next day Elliot got a good deal on a trip to the monastry's on Lake Tana, we visited 3 where we saw some fantastic colourful vibrant paintings, crowns, manuscripts and carved crosses. On the second island we met a nice monk who gave us some of the local beer, Tella, looked a bit like muddy water, but tasted pretty refreshing. We also visited the opening to the Blue Nile, very scenic and managed to spot my first hippo, if only for a few seconds. We also spotted plenty of the local tankwa boats that the locals made out of papyrus.

Spent the afternoon in a terraced cafe called Mangos on the edge of the lake, the pelicans came within feet of the shore - very cool. Went posh that night for my last dinner with the Tetts where we paid less than $10 for an all you can eat buffet!

Day 3 and I decided on a trip to the local market, one guy followed me the whole way and pissed me off so much I went home! Tried again 20 minutes later, got followed by another 'guide', but decided it would be best to have him tag along he could potentially scare off any other unwanted 'guides'! Turned out to be a knowledgeable guy and some of the more interesting things he showed me were the place they stored the honey to make a local mead called Tej, also the milling room where they produced the grains for the local Injera bread.

Feeling confident I headed out that afternoon on bike to Weyto, a village where they made the tankwa boats, an absolute tourist trap, I was swarmed with people asking for money in seconds, needless to say I didn't hang around too long! Next was the palace of Haile Sellassie, which was closed but was meant to be on a hill with great views, to be honest it was a bit crap. Spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the dock trying to get pictures of the pelicans and some fish eagles, some guy tried to extract 50c from me for the privilege, I was quick to tell him where to go!

Gonder and the Simien Mountain next!
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annat22 on

Lots of wildlife!
Sounds great. Glad to know you've made it over there ok - and found some local beer :)
Hope the mountains are good.
Happy New Year.

jonclark2000 on

Re: dodgy followers
They are certainly not after my body, just my money :-( - there is a lot of unemployment and a lot of the locals want to be your guide for the day in exchange for some cash!

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