Allison Webb

Alli

Allison Webb

Smitten by the travel bug after my first solo trip through North and South East Asia, I am continuing to explore this incredible world of ours. Next up, country #34, Ethiopia and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Where I've been so far in this wonderful world of ours ...






Asia March 3rd 2010

Arrived just as the bus was about to leave the station in Pakse after a long tuk tuk ride to the station. The attendants came running and grabbed our packs which they then tossed through the back window. Note to self, do not buy any fragile items when travelling on Lao buses! Getting on the bus last we were left with only the back seat as everyone was sitting in their own seats with their bags firmly on the free seats beside them, icy stares and no inkling to let us share! Back of the bus it was! Now, sitting in the back has its own rewards - extra bumps along the whole way just like a carnival ride for free; you are close to your packs which are actually falling down behind your seat preventing ... read more
A rare warm welcome in Laos, Pakse
The sellers on the bus
With the lovely couple from Caraquet, NB and typical Maritime hospitality

Asia » Laos » South » Si Phan Don February 23rd 2010

Ah, the joys of travelling on the buses that never come on time. Make sure to pack your patience and a good book when you come to Cambodia and Laos. Hanging around the bus station, the only foreigners in sight, the bus finally arrived over an hour late to take us away from our little slice of heaven better known as Kratie north to Laos and full on tourism. While the bus coming from Phnom Penh was half full of tourists, after a few stops north and just before the border, it emptied of locals and left only the backpackers bound for the 4000 islands of Si Phan Don in the Mekong in southern Laos. At the scruffy, but efficient border crossing, we paid a commission to the border guards on both sides who picked up ... read more
Making ourselves as comfortable as we can for the long wait at the bus station
At the desolate Cambodia - Laos Border Crossing
Near the waterfalls on Don Khon

Asia » Cambodia » East » KratiĆ© February 20th 2010

The first thing about travelling in Cambodia is to realise that the bus is always going to be late and you will be fine. In that vein, our morning bus departed from downtown late, weaving through the bustling traffic bound for the north east and Kratie, a city of approximately 80,000 most of whom make their living from the might Mekong's waters. Leaving the traffic and congestion behind, we ease into the more rural life where after hours there is finally no English signs with the exception of the cel phone stores. In every town, grand temples dominate the landscape and despite the poverty, they are still built in grand styles with well cared for grounds that stand in juxtaposition to all of the garbage that lines the streets, alleyways and fields for entire trip. Wooden ... read more
Kurt relaxing on the ferry to Koh Trong
Bamboo path to the ferry along the beach
Vietnamese Floating Village off Koh Trong

Asia February 16th 2010

Well it doesn't take long to realise that you are no longer at home in the temperate rain forest of Vancouver and have hit the wall of heat that is Phnom Penh. Just getting off the plane and stepping onto the gateway reminds you that you have travelled far, into the sauna that is South East Asia in February. You get used to your clothes stuck to your every curve and the sweat dripping down your back. The city is alive with a cacophony of sounds from the competitive tuk tuk drivers assaulting every tourist with their familiar refrains, to the children selling books who crowd around your table in search of a sale, to the exhaust of the scooters to the workers who break rocks in the blazing sun. The street along the river is ... read more
the daily staple, French baguette streetside in PP
young street vendor on the boardwalk at sunset, PP
Grand Palace at sunset, PP

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa January 8th 2008

Well spending a week in Addis Ababa was not in our original plans, but Ethiopian Airways seemed to have other ideas for us so a week it was. "Addis" as it is known means "new flower" and its location was chosen because of the natural beauty of the area which is now being eclipsed as massive development sprawls incoherently reaching out further and further from the city. With a population between 5-6 million, it is home to many non-governmental organizations where the white land cruisers with UN signage compete with the blue and white mini buses and old blue lada taxis belching out exhaust. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. As one couple we met noted 7 years ago there were virtually no high rises and now on every street corner, ... read more
Sign at Addis Ababa University
Life is not good for everyone in Addis
Typical street - Addis

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa December 30th 2007

Well, this was certainly going to be a Xmas to remember and not in a good way. We left Lalibela extremely late on our Ethiopian Airlines flight and then had to endure most of the full tourist circuit as we took off and landed in Gonder and then Bahir Dar before getting to Addis. Since we were an hour late when we landed in Gonder, they advised us that the ground time would be 3 minutes and it pretty much was. However, all their attempts to make up for lost time could not compensate fully and when we landed in Addis we had only 25 minutes to make our next flight to Dire Dawa, 500 km or so east of Addis. We flew through the airport as if in training for the Amazing Race, bags in ... read more
Having fun with the locals - Dire Dawa
Market in Dire Dawa - Arab influence in evidence
Where we bought our coffee pot

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela December 29th 2007

"I weary of writing more about these buildings because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more ... but all that is written is truth and there is much more that what I have written, and I have left it that they may not tax me with its being falsehood" Francisco Alvares - 16th century Portuguese written upon travelling to Lalibela Well, our travels to Lalibela were cut a little short by Ethiopian Airlines who told us that the flight was late and they would not have time to travel their full route so would need to by-pass Lalibela. As we are finding out, not only is road travel time consuming in Ethiopia, but plane travel with its short hops, skips and jumps in our little 50 seater Fokker can ... read more
Line up at the community well - Lalibela
Worn drums in the church
Bet Giorgis Church - St. George's Church

Africa » Ethiopia December 23rd 2007

We were up early to catch our long bus ride to Axum from Debark. Our guide book had called it the most scenic journey in the country which I also read to mean "long"! We had also been warned that the bus did not stop for bathroom breaks or snacks so we needed to be prepared. Waiting on the side of the dusty road in Debark attracted considerable attention from the local children, the braver of whom came over to practice their English and to have their photos taken! Our photos of Canada were a real hit too! Finally our bus showed up and we were on our way in the front seats - courtesay of a little service fee! Sitting three abreast with a lovely brother and sister we started off our journey in good ... read more
Experiencing the Farengi Frenzy in Axum
loading the camel with Dashen Beer in Axum
Under the giant stellae

Africa » Ethiopia December 18th 2007

Well, our trust paid off and not only were we met with food, but a cook, driver and our own beat up landcruiser to drive from Gondar to Debark where we would pick up our guide, scout and gear. The road was windy, but the drive went quickly with our good driver and American music blaring from the dash! The terraced fields gave way to the start of the Simien Mountains - our destination and truly one of the most magnificent ranges in Africa. With virtually no cars, the road is the life blood of the communities and always full of people walking on it including the shepherds who wield their crooks and manage to herd their goats, sheep and cows to the side of the road. Everywhere people are covered with white shawls to keep ... read more
Gelada Baboons feasting
Spectacular Landscape
Tea on a silver tray and everything!

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar December 12th 2007

Well, suelam from Gondar, Ethiopia where we are still trying to adjust to life as travellers in a very different land and fight against our jetlag! It's now 6pm so at least we are still awake! It's day 2 since we've landed here after quite an eventful trip. Our flight from Vancouver to Washington went without a hitch including getting excellent pick up service by our friends, Kristine and John. After a very brief visit we were back at the airport bright and early the next day for the marathon journey from Washington DC to Addis Ababa via Rome on Ethiopian Airways. Now you know the old adage, you get what you pay for, well, it is really true! Since we had a truly discount ticket we were to experience just what that meant! At the ... read more
Infamous Ethiopian Electrician!
Hanging out with the priest in Gondar
Castle in the Royal Enclosure




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