Alright, I’m sorry about the lack of updates but with internet as brutally slow as it is in Ethiopia and the fact that I met up with a couple of Australian guys, the internet has been somewhat of an after thought. This is about the 4th time I’ve tried updating and just a couple of minutes ago after I was about finished one of the guys here unplugs the computer and I lost everything.
My travel plans have changes a bit. I was supposed to have left Bahir Dar after 2 nights and head to Lalibela. We ended up having a few nights of good old fasioned drinking and bar hopping. A lot of people asked me before I left, why I like to travel alone? It isn’t that I specifically like being alone but I’m not worried about it because you don’t normally go a few days without meeting up with other travels and enjoying their company. We sat around all day by the lake and talked about everything from cricket to “gridiron” football (what aussie’s call the NFL) We chatted about Australian parliament, American politics, beer, females and tales of previous travels.
After nightfall we decided to head out into town and find a place to have a drink. In Ethiopia foreigners don’t generally go out after night except for maybe dinner so we wanted to get a different experience. We ended up having some guy lead us to a popular spot in Bahir Dar. The evening was interesting to say the least. In Ethiopia, 90% of females in bars are prostitutes (mind you that leaves 10% that are not and you can DEFINITELY spot the difference) Since so many are prostitutes there was really no point in leaving the place we were out to try and find a spot that was a little less seedy because that is just how it is here. It was nice to sit down relax and buy a few beers and try to communicate in broken english but eventually that got old so we trotted off. The way you can tell the difference between the paid girls and the ones that are sincerely out to enjoy themselves are their outfits and demeanor. I did actually meet a girl that night that was not looking for money. I had conversation with her for a little bit and it was funny watching the girls that “worked” there get angry at her. She spoke english very well and said she worked at a tourism agency in Addis. She gave me her telephone number to call her when
I returned to Addis but we’ll see how it works out when I actually try to make a phone call in this country. I felt generally safe at night except for the fight. We were wandering peacefully down a side street on our way back to the hotel and suddenly a door slammed open and 3 guys came running out. One had a bottle in his hand and smashed it over the other’s head while the 3rd picked up a huge rock and heaved it towards both of them. He missed and hit a parked car. I had my wits about me and decided to duck behind a tree. It wasn’t the best idea because I ended up feeling about 4 pairs of hands grab me and pull me into a doorway. It was completely surreal. They said “come come safe safe” I looked around and all I could see were a room full of Ethiopian girls. It had the stench of 10 of the seediest American strip clubs all condensed into a room the size of 7-11. I was in a brothel and as thankful as I was for being yanked off the street I politely nodded and RAN off. The Aussies’ had a good laugh at my expense and we went back to the hotel.
And that was my nightlife experience in Ethiopia. Other than going out tonight for some honey wine and a last hurrah with the Aussie’s, I think I’m done with that. My stomach has been in and out of good health. I had some lamb tibs my first day in Bahir Dar and haven’t really been the same since but that is just part of traveling.
My last day in Bahir Dar I finally got to the historical stuff. The town is set on Lake Tana and there are island monastaries scattered throughout it. I joined a group of Ethiopian’s, an Italian and another Australian girl. We visited 3 of the monastaries and the Christian monks shared their artifacts and scriptures with us as well as different crosses. I have plenty of pictures so don’t worry!
I’m sitting here now in Gondar which is about a 4 hour bus ride north of Bahir Dar. I had no plan of coming here but the great thing about traveling alone is that you can change your plans and no one cares. The guys invited me up here and I had a few extra days to spare so I said why the heck not. It is an old medieval town and has castles to visit. We did that this morning and I took tons of photos. Since I never planned to come here I really didn’t know much about the castles themselves but I do plan on checking it out in my guide book. Tomorrow morning I am going to save a 2 day bus ride by flying to Lalibela. I probably won’t be able to communicate until I return to Addis because electricity is sparce and the internet they do have is very expensive.
I’m having a great time, I’m in good health and I’m staying out of trouble. Don’t let my stories of night ladies and bar fights worry you.
A FEW NOTES THAT I HAVE LEFT OUT OR FORGOTTEN TO TALK ABOUT
On my flight from Nairobi to Addis Ababa the president of Sudan was onboard. They rolled the red carpet for him but the let the other passengers off first so I actually was stepping off the airplane as the carpet was being rolled out. So, in my mind it was for me.
I have brought entirely too many clothes. I plan on ditching a few items once I get to Rwanda. Me and Daisy were talking about visiting an orphanage and I thought that would be a good chance to do it.
The moquito net might have been a mistake. Even in the spots that are supposed to have mosquitos… they aren’t that bad. I can just cover up with my hoody and spray lots of DEET.
I should have brought traveler’s checks.
Hygene is limited on the road. Showering everyday is useless and so is wearing shirts only once. I had my favorite Hurley shirt on for the first 4 days and the cotton is so good that it only started to stink once I put it with my other dirty clothes.
Anyway. Time to post this update and head back out to see the rest of Gondar. I’m thinking once I get to Tanzania the internet connection will allow me to upload loads of photos at a time. I have some pretty good ones.