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Published: November 14th 2007
Fresh bread, tomatoes, and more diesel - the usual start to the day.
The road south was beautiful, newly tarred, smooth with hardly any traffic. On more than one occasion we saw great falic-like rocky pinnacles towering beside the road - most spectacular and we wondered if anyone had ever managed to climb them, or had even wanted to! Lake Tana appeared to our right and, a great surprise for the source of the Blue Nile, the water was muddy in appearance. James Bruce, who claims to have discovered the source of the Blue Nile, described it as the “copper lake” - and I can see why.
The town of Bahir Dar had a very “colonial” look with wide, tree-lined streets. We found the Ghion Hotel where we knew there was camping facilities and, apart from the rather public situation, it met our needs. But as we have so often found, these camp sites are no patch on free camping in the bush or desert. But there usually are showers, and often restaurants. In the afternoon Gail and Jeremy drove to the Blue Nile Falls, some 20 kms down the Nile but, because so much of the water flow is diverted through the hydro electric generating plant, the flow of water over the falls was not as great as it used to be. Nevertheless they returned with good reports of their visit.
Meanwhile the rest of us drove clockwise round the lake for about 15 kms to do some bird watching in a more forested area. We encountered hostility from a village we went through, where the children were a complete pain, but eventually at the end of a small peninsular we found some exciting birds. We also met a charming young Ethiopian by name of Muktha who was fascinated not only by our adventure but also by the birdbooks we had with us, showing pictures of birds which were so common to him. He could not believe that there were books published on African birds nor that anyone had driven 7000+ miles just to look at “his” birds! That evening we ate at the hotel and were in bed very late for us - by 10 pm!
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