My next flight to Addis Ababa (Addis) was back with Emirates on flight EK723 with seat 26K boarding at 9.45 am. Scheduled to take off at 10.30 am for the 4 hour flight to Addis.
Because of the fog and low cloud this morning, we had a nearly 2 hour delay parked out on the tarmac, cramped in a full Airbus A330-200. I should have had row 25K with the bulkhead leg room for my legs. Next time on an A330! Finally left at 12.15 pm and the Captain said that it was a 3 1/2 hour trip.
Lunch - beef pastrami with couscous, slow-braised lamb with rosemary served with garlic rice, seasoned baby carrots and green beans, banana hazelnut cake with fresh cream and a passion fruit sauce, cheese and biscuits, tea / coffee and chocolates.
Crossed the Sinai where the vast flat red brown sandy desert was replaced by the grey rocky mountains. Not a bit of green in sight. Soon townships appeared with terraced fields in the hillside and still barren. Wonder how they coped. Slowly dark green appeared along the stream and valley floors.
At 34,000 feet crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea at its narrowest point. The Red Sea wasn't red but a clear blue.
Then crossed over Djibouti.
Soon Ethiopia was below and with global warming, seeing the lakes and rivers lower and drier. Looks like someone had pulled the sink plug out and let some of the water out. It certainly looks a desolate harsh environment. I'll see part of this part of the country from ground level when I head out east to Harar.
Over the Rift Valley and the descent into Addis.
Arriving at Addis at 2.30 pm an hour after the scheduled arrival time after crossing another time zone from Dubai. I feel that the Ethiopian adventure begins now after taking some long 30 hours to get here from Auckland.
First was the Ebola check. Each of us had to stand and get our temperature taken, the visa on arrival and for 30 days it was US$50. Currency exchange and the tip by fellow traveller John was correct ... Go through and where your bags are on the carousel, there is another currency exchange than the one right by the visa booth.
Dubai > Addis
Friday, December 12, 2014
Addis Ababa, Mirab Shewa, Ethiopia