Page 5 of Teesside Travellers Travel Blog Posts


Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela November 7th 2012

7th-9th Nov ’12 Lalibela It was a short one hour flight to Lalibela but the air hostesses still managed to get round us all to give us a drink and a bun before strapping themselves in just as the plane was landing! We drove up into the hillsides with views of high mountains around us and soon reached Lalibela which feels more like a village than a town. We past the newer area of town which is where all the people who lived in the traditional storey mud huts have been moved too in order to preserve the buildings, no idea about how they felt about this but I guess they didn’t get much choice! After checking into our hotel and grabbing some lunch we drove back through the town, down the straggly lanes and to ... read more
Lalibela
Lalibela
Lalibela

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum November 6th 2012

6th Nov ’12 Axum Well I guess we were lucky as we slept through the night, unlike some of our group whose rooms faced town and heard the chanting competition! It turns out today is a special religious celebration day. After breakfast we wandered out onto the terrace and got fantastic views across the little town and we could look down right over the stelae field. Ok perhaps I should start by saying let me take you back……back into the days of the Old Testament, to the time of the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon, Menelik their son and the Ark of the Covenant, to the King of Ethiopia called Balthazar – think ‘we 3 kings of Orient are’, to piles of frankincense, half explored tombs, secret doorways, ruined palaces and fortresses, unearthed 4th century stone ... read more
Axum - Queen of Sheba's Bathing Pool
Axum - Tombs
Axum - Tombs

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum November 5th 2012

5th Nov ’12 Debark to Axum Today was the mega long road journey to Axum. The road that runs up and down and winds through the Simien Mountains (and was featured in the TV series The World’s Most Dangerous Roads) is being widened and re-surfaces which means that it was rough, bumpy and with lots of roadworks and the 250 km drive could take up to 12 hours to do! In fact we made it in 11 hours – a long haul but in spectacular scenery, towering jagged brown peaks, forested lower slopes, lush green valleys, a winding river, sheer drops and hair pin bends all added a bit of spice! There were hold ups while bulldozers moved towering piles of stones or flattened sections of road before waving us on and the speculations as to ... read more
Photo 3
Photo 4
The trusty bus

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Simien Mountains November 4th 2012

4th Nov ’12 Gondar to Debark and the Simien Mountains We spent the morning driving to Debark, with a stop at a viewpoint across the Simien Mountains and it was a spectacular sight – all these different sized and shaped peaks stretching off to the horizon. Tomorrow we are going to be driving right through them and at this moment in time I just can’t figure out how! We carried on passing small villages of huts surrounding greens on which cattle were grazing, young children were carrying babies on their backs and women were walking along bent double under huge piles of firewood on their backs. We arrived in Debark, a town which is expanding as more hotels are being built to meet the Faranji demand for access to the Simien Mountains National Park. The road ... read more
Photo stop on way to Debark
Photo stop on way to Debark
Village green

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar November 3rd 2012

3rd Nov ’12 Bahar Dar to Gondar Today’s journey was by road to Ethiopia’s former ancient Imperial capital of Gondar. One of the highlights of the trip for me was the stop we made on the way at the little town of Woreta. It was market day and a never ending stream of people were making their way up and down the stony rough road to it. Howard and I joined the throng of men, women, children, sheep, donkeys and goats with flapping ears heading up the hillside road. We chatted to a student from the local church who introduced us to various people, we past ladies with crosses tattooed on their foreheads and round their throats who stopped to smile and return our greetings when we called out salem nesh. Lots of children smiled and ... read more
Woreta off to market
Woreta
Woreta

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar October 31st 2012

31st October ’12 Awash to Addis Ababa So driving back to Addis today as returning there is the easiest way to then head north and there is a bit of sightseeing organised in the city for the afternoon but I doubt I will make it as I feel lousy and just need sleep! We drove back through the volcanic landscape, passing lava fields and jagged crater peaks. We stopped at Lake Beseka where there were lots of endemic (new word for the trip) Ethiopian birds whose names I have totally forgotten and great views of the volcanoes. Another stop was at a view point where there were lots of children, with lots of older children carrying babies strapped to their backs and once more they were all smiling, laughing and saying hello to us faranjis. By ... read more
Aswa Mariam
Aswa Mariam
Aswa Mariam

Africa » Ethiopia October 30th 2012

30th Oct ’12 Drive from Harar to Awash Saba On our way we stopped at Aweday to visit the largest Chat market in Ethiopia. It was really busy with big bundles of chat being carried around. There were numerous little stalls and buying and selling was going on everywhere. The people were really friendly, shaking our hands and saying salam. One lady was touching our hands and skin and grabbed Howard’s chest much to everyone’s amusement, it also happened to another man in our group and a few of the women had their bra straps twanged (Ethiopian women do not wear bras). A man with withered legs was pulling himself around on the ground with plastic cups on his knees. Another man came over to show us his really deformed toes – like cauliflowers. After we ... read more
Aweday Chat Market
Aweday Chat Market
Aweday Chat Market

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar October 26th 2012

After a brief week back in the UK including a weekend in Glasgow we are off on the road again and this time it’s ETHIOPIA! 26th-27th Oct ’12 Addis Ababa A very early 4am wake up and by 5am we were checked in at Teesside Airport, thanks to the above and beyond call of friendship lift from Abi and John! It felt really strange to be setting off from our local airport and knowing we were going to end up in Ethiopia! It was a short flight to Amsterdam and the plane was mainly full of business people and I had to suppress the urge to say we’re not going to Europe, we are off on an adventure to deepest darkest Africa. We had about 3 hours before our onward flight and I was kind of ... read more
Photo 3
Harar
Harar

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Boudhanath October 15th 2012

15th Oct ’12 Pashupatinath and Bodhnath So our final full day in Kathmandu and today we jumped in another taxi and headed to Pashupatinath. Although it wasn’t far it took ages to get there once again due to the traffic, our driver took loads of turns up tiny alleys which no one at home would have considered trying to get down, but he squeezed his way through, missing people and stalls by millimetres. We rattled and jottled along down rough broken up streets with potholes and half bricks everywhere, inched our way out the wrong way across main roads with nose to tail traffic and no one wanting to give an inch but some how we made it and pulled up near one of the entrances to Pashupatinath. The temple here is the most important Hindu ... read more
Pashupatinath
Pashupatinath
Pashupatinath

Asia » Nepal » Patan October 14th 2012

14th Patan and Swayambhunath After a bad night’s sleep we still got up early and once again caught a taxi, this time to the city of Patan which is now almost a suburb of Kathmandu. Patan is known as the City of Beauty and I’m sure it once was, now the jumbled mass of houses and shops which sprawl around the historic areas kind of spoil the image slightly. Unlike Bhaktapur traffic still speeds around all the small streets which makes looking at the various temples and shrines a less comfortable experience – you constantly have one eye over your shoulder! However the Durbar Square was still stunning with it’s elegant pagoda temples and intricately carved stone temples. We ran the same gamut of people offering to be guides but once again just wanted to see ... read more
Patan
Patan
Patan




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