Well, two rest days have past but unfortunately due to an inevitable bout of food poisoning I was in fetal position during our last rest in Bahir Dar and thus unable (or rather unwilling) to crawl out of my tent to within wifi range to post an update. I guess that’s the punishment for indulging in too much local fare.
Bahir Dar is situated on Lake Tana, thought to be the source of the Blue Nile. We crossed said river in the watchful gaze of a couple of hippos lazing by the bridge to enter the rather large town. On arrival that night we had our first tour party themed “Dress like a local” which saw many interesting interpretations of Ethiopian local attire, including an ass and a gorilla (still looking out for these amongst the hills). We also almost had an entire Ethiopian soccer team sorted for the night. It was a good chance to unwind after a hilly couple of days and chat about things other than bikes and bowel movements.
The second day a small group of us went on an organized boat trip to visit some of the island monasteries situated in Lake Tana. There are several of these monasteries built on islands and a peninsula somewhere around the 14th century and are home to monks which produce coffee or other goods and are supplied by charitable groups on the mainland. Some of these monasteries are closed to the public and others only allow men to visit. It was a great morning day trip and the boat ride there was rather scenic with local fisherman paddling by in their hand-made papyrus boats (which only last 2 months) and lots of bird life. It must be said that Ethiopia would make any avid bird watcher swoon as the variety and abundance of bird life we have seen along the way has been incredible. Unfortunately I don’t have a clue what names to attribute to any of them.
We have now reached the capital city of Addis Ababa, which sees the end of the second tour stage and with it we say farewell to some and welcome new sectional riders to the tour.