To Gondar - Day 55

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Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar
November 7th 2007
Published: November 14th 2007
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It was lovely to wake up with trees and shrubs all around us and not till we had nearly finished breakfast did some youngsters herding cattle find us - they just stood and stared. Seeing us oldies getting ourselves sorted out, I suppose, must have been stare-worthy! Ian and Chris had a dilemma. Ian had lent his ball point pen, a very smart Schaeffer, to the official who filled in our forms at the border crossing. Did he drive back and get it or forget all about it? With our encouragement he drove back to the office where, much to his delight and surprise, they handed back his pen, amazed that he had driven all that way back to get it. In fact I suppose it was no more than 3 or 4 mile each way, but they thought he had come back from Gondar!

The road to Gondar was all weather dirt and climbed through the most spectacular scenery to well over 7,000 ft and after all the dry desert we had passed through it was a welcome sight to us all. We refueled just before Gondar where we found a sort of guest house with camping facilities in its courtyard which had been recommended to us by the Belgian couple we met in Khartoum. Gail and Jeremy elected to camp, using the guest house facilities while the rest of us rented rooms which boasted en suite facilities - what a boast! But we did have water, sometimes not cold, and the loos had seats which were totally moveable! We ate around our cars in the courtyard and hung up the washing there to dry. In the afternoon we went to the famous Selassie church, which goes a long way back in Ethiopian Christian history. The paintings inside were quite spectacular and the kindly priest showed us around with much pleasure.

That evening we were taken by a self appointed and charming guide, the owner’s brother at the guest house, to a coffee drinking ceremony. We all piled into the small living room of the Gondar family where we sat around a TV set which showed videos of local singing and dancing. Informative and repetitive this was but we also watched the lady of the house going through the lengthy and particular way of brewing coffee over an open brazier fire where she also roasted coffee beans to tease our palettes with their glorious smell. The coffee when it eventually was served was quite delicious.


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