Published: July 2nd 2012April 13th 2012
I got a bus from Autobus Terra to Awassa, or so I thought. After about half an hour, they gave me some of my money back and said it was only going as far as Shashemene. The change in the landscape was very noticeable the further south we got. It began to look a lot more like the African savannah you would usually associate with Africa.
It was really slow and 5 hours later, we arrived in Shashemene. I transferred to a minibus to Awassa easy enough, but it was night time when I arrived. I got a room at the Midre Genet hotel, which was possibly the best value room I had in Ethiopia. I got some amazing pizza at the Dolce Vita restaurant - apparently the owner has had a special pizza oven imported from Italy.
The next day I spent a few hours walking down by the lake. There is a dyke built along the edge to prevent flooding and is a perfect place to walk along. The wildlife is much more abundant than further north in Ethiopia, particularly the birds. The people also seem a lot more 'African' as in they are a lot darker,
with less of the Arab features you see in the people further north.
Ethiopia's most famous athlete Haile Gebre Selassiehas opened up a fairly plush resort just outside the town, called the Haile Resort. It was out of my budget to stay there, but I went for a drink there and it was like stepping into a different world, particularly after walking through some of the mudhut villages to get there.
I would have liked to stay longer in Awassa, as it was really beautiful down by the lake, but it was Ethiopian Easter the following day and I had been invited to Dilla by Matt who I had met in Addis, so I left the following morning.
There are more photos below