Donkeys & Yellow Water Containers

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Arba Minch, Ethiopia
A 7.30 am departure for the 500 km journey to Abra Minch. Speedometer on Yohannes Toyota Landcruiser showing 80,216 km … wonder what it will be at the end of the journey in 12 days time?

What was once a 14 hour drive, now with the road improvements it is down to 9.5 hours with stops.

I knew that it would be a long day but to my surprise the road was great. Thanks to the Chinese.

A stop at a roadside store to pick up some water. A bit of bargaining and several of us paid 100 birr / NZ$6.70 / US$4.90 for a 6 pack of 1.5 litre bottles.



Then another stop to see the teff being thrashed. This gluten free small grain is now becoming fashionable in the west. Teff is the staple carbohydrate for Ethiopians, just like rice is to us Asians, potatoes to the Irish and bread to others.

Move over quinoa, Ethiopia's teff poised to be next big super grain

Passing pumpkins being sold along the side of the road, it was a morning tea stop 125km from Addis at a local restaurant: Lamrot Bar and Restaurant in Butajira and a bottle of Ambo sparkling mineral water. It was not the flavoured one that I had taste of yesterday but was still refreshing. Being next to the local buses the boys were out with their cardboard box tray slung over their shoulders trying to sell us packets of tissues, cigarettes and gum.


A stop to see vultures cleaning up and soon Soho, another 196 km from Butajira was reached at 2 pm for our late lunch stop. All I wanted was a simple plate of Bekele Mola Hotel's spaghetti 55 birr / NZ$3.70 / US$2.70 and a Pepsi 15 birr / NZ$1 / US$.70c.




Back on the road for the final 120 km leg to Abra Minch where we reached at 5.30 pm. Sun was about to set and sitting out on Bekele Mola Hotel’s balcony with a bottle of St George that spectacular view of the Lake Abaya to the left and Lake Chamo to the right far below us and the eastern Rift Valley wall was relaxing. Being by the lake it was fish kebab for dinner. The room was rather bare, needed a spruce up but was clean and functional. Anyway we are here for just one night and the cliff top view and cooling breeze certainly made up for it.

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