HIGHLIGHTS Tues 30 Dec: Gondar > Simien Nat Park

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Gonder, Amhara, Ethiopia
Gondar > Debark

The 100 km road journey to Debark was finished about a year ago and wow ... it was a quick 2 hour trip to get there. Before the road was rebuilt, it would have taken another 2 hours to get here.

Houses with corrugated iron roof of a standard rectangular design.

Wheat, chick pea and barley were being grown hence the greenest of the landscape.

 























































































































 































































































































































 
 
























 

























































 

















































































































 































































































































































 


 
 
 
 











































































































































 
















































































 










Semien Lodge 10,700 ' or 3,260 m asl


At Debark we each needed to sign in at the National Park office. Because we had more than 10 people in our group, we picked up BJ our guide plus 2 scouts / park rangers for the next 2 days with a rifle each to protect us from both animals and humans!

After lunch, it was time to head off. Just on the outskirt of Debark was the cattle market. With Christmas approaching on 7 Jan, this is why there were so many animals being sold at the market.

I had half expected another African massage on a rather bumpy dust filled road like we had to the Blue Nile Falls a couple of days earlier, but this dusty windy road still being rebuilt was quite smooth for the 22 km slow hour's upwards climb by our trusty Toyota Coaster mini bus to Semien Lodge.
 
 





























































































 


































































































Simien National Park - PM Walk


After checking in had an hour's free time before being off at 3.30 pm for a brief 90-120 min warm up walk. Being at 10,700 feet or 3,260 m above sea level, I immediately felt the altitude taking my bags the short distance up to my bungalow with shortness of breath. How would I go on this walk?

It was a nice "loosening up stroll". My memory will be of the "peace". Not a sound at all. The occasional bird and vehicle passing near-by, no aircraft, sometimes a local in the far distance with their voices travelling so far, plus the chatter of the group and at times the clicking of the walking poles against the rocky path broke the silence.

 






























































 



























































 





























































































 
 








































 



 Sunset – Simien Lodge


Sunset - I was told to go up behind the upper bungalows so armed with my monopod up one trudged. No clouds were on the horizon so I was not very hopeful at all.

Being New Year’s Eve, there was no option except to take part in the US$25 buffet dinner. Wow ... considering what we had been paying, this was really expensive and for some stretched their budget! The glass of wine was …. disgusting to put it mildly. I took a wee sip and that was enough. Most of the others had the same experience.

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