We are 9 days into our trip to Ethiopia, situated high up on a hill in Gonder. It’s a cool 10 degrees C with mist and cloud at an altitude of about 3500 ft. After the initial culture shock and exposure to extreme poverty in some parts of Addis we are by now acclimatised and able to see the beauty, strength, and innocence of both the people and their land. But, before harping on about culture and the environment of Ethiopia, we have just returned to the hotel having visited 2 churches, one of which acts as a monastery for boys and girls studying to be priests, this church is a collection of old ruins and relics from Ethiopia’s history, with few functioning covered spaces for prayer and teaching, many of these young people must beg to survive and live in tiny wood and straw circular huts about 2 metres across, 8 to a hut, they have nothing other than the clothes they have managed to beg from others and are malnourished in most cases. They still hold their beliefs and have a true smile on their faces and in their hearts. This is only one situation amongst so many in this country of 81 million where the average yearly wage is equivalent to 250 dollars, (the UK average is about 50 thousand) for instance. There is a need for us to give appropriate help, education, infrastructure, sustainable housing solutions, etc. Having never witnessed such deprivation before, I for one cannot ignore this eye-opener on a truly wonderful people, many of whom are still innocent of the unnatural desires of modern times in our ‘developed’ countries.
7 Adults and 2 Kids take a road trip north from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar and Lake Tana, then up to Gonder.
Down again to 1800meters to join the Theodores II road to Lalibella.
A few days later heading for Addis again with a stop overnight at Debre Berhan.
Day 1 – Addis Ababa – The Mercato, Piazza Area, Finfine Restaurant
Day 2 – Addis Ababa – Family Lunch, Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Day 3 – Addis Ababa – Ethiopian National Museum, Final Preparations
Day 4 – Travel from Addis Ababa to Debre Markos
Day 5 – Travel from Debre Markos to Bahir Dar
Day 6 – Bahir Dar & Lake Tana – Visit Monasteries on Lake Tana
Day 7 – Bahir Dar & Lake Tana – Visit Bahir Dar Market
Day 8 – Travel from Bahir Dar to Gondar – King Fasiliidas Compound and Baths
Day 9 – Trekking in Simian Mountains, Debre Berhan Selassie Church, The Kusquam Church
Day 10 – Gondar to Lalibela
Day 11 – Lalibela – The Monolithic Churches
Day 12- Lalibela – The Yemrehanna Kristos Church, Shopping
Day 13 – Travel from Lalibela to Kombolcha
Day 14 – Travel from Kombolcha to Addis Ababa for some final days
before departing flights to Istanbul for a few days and then on to Dublin