The first thing you’ll probably notice when you walk into the Sheraton in Addis is that the air feels different. By which I mean, it’s perfect, in contrast to the hot/cold fluctuations outside. But you might be distracted by the ostentatious nature of the entire place; the grand entry, the secludedness, the way you instantly forget you’re in the developing world. Which, I believe, is the central aim of most of the patrons here.
We left before day break. We were offered a free ride from Gonder to Bahir Dar. The caveat? We left at 5am when the city would still be sleeping, or so we thought. As we made our away out of the city we passed dozens of people, slowly meandering in the same direction, all of them cloaked by white blankets-the same sort priests in Lalibela wore. They were going to church at this absurd hour. And to think, the torture I felt by having to go to church at 9am when I was a child! They seemed solemn to me, or perhaps it was just the warm dim lights of the street lamps just barely illuminating their figures. Or perhaps, like us, it was too early to function properly. As we made our way along the road, passing various villages the white robed people continued their walk, changing direction based on which village church they were headed towards.
Day 1. 3160m
We left the dusty city of Gondar and wound our way North, towards the Simien Mountains. We drove through villages, slowly gaining altitude, though you couldn’t tell we were anywhere near mountains, farm land and dust stretching forever into the distance a long the road. Suddenly, we pulled the car to an overlook, what had previously been flat plains now gave way to stunning, raged cliffs perched impossibly high, and precariously, over the color blocked farm land below. If it weren’t for the haze, it appeared you might beagle to see for miles. We had entered the National Park. Continue reading