Lalibela - Day 63

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November 15th 2007
Published: November 28th 2007
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We divided our activities today. Firstly, Gail and Jeremy took Milla with them to visit the group of churches near the Bilbilla area some 42 kms north of Lalibela. These are arguably the most spectacular of all the churches, most of them being older. They spent a long time trying to find the right road to the monastery of Yemrehanna Christos but were rewarded by seeing a unique church within a large cavern some 8,800 ft up the mountain.

The church and the priest’s house in this dark cavern were built with alternating layers of wood, and granite faced with white gypsum - the whole taking on the appearance of a layered chocolate cream cake. The interior had wonderful stone carvings and early paintings. They returned early afternoon for a late lunch at our hotel campsite.

Meanwhile Ian and I tackled his faulty spare wheels. The first one to have been punctured, outside Khartoum, was relatively easy. The cause of the puncture, bizarrely, was a stray tyre valve which had penetrated the casing of the tyre. One suggestion for the repair was that we should just replace the core of the valve and the problem would be solved! However, sense prevailed and we extracted the thing and made a proper job of it. On reinflating the tyre we found a second puncture which we fixed in no time. The second tyre to have been punctured was a different matter. On inspection we found that the wall of the tyre had been badly damaged and the whole tyre was, sadly, beyond salvation. So Ian now travels with only one spare - but the other cars have spares which are compatible should push come to shove.

We then spent some time going around our vehicles tightening up nuts and bolts and re-securing batteries in their trays and generally ensuring that everything was shipshape. After sessions on the internet for emails we all gathered for our evening drinks under the waxing moon before eating yet another delicious camp supper


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