At 4am Silent Night was murmuring across the speakers after weaving through immigration in Addis Ababa. Feeling a bit ropey, sinuses as dry as a bone, after our business class trip (ahem!), we haggled with a taxi driver and eventually made it to our hotel in the deserted Piazza area of Addis. The Taitu Hotel, built by Empress Taitu over 100 years ago, was old school Ethiopian and impressive but COLD ! Us just not used to this frosty 15-20 degree weather!

First order of business; warm clothes and sleeping bags etc. in preparation for the north and Simien mountains. That night we sampled the local fare. Injera is just a large, cold, barley pancake with various hot sauces on top. Eaten by hand. I’m not mad on it but they do have a good selection of beers to wash it down. AND COLD TOO! The next night we had some scoff with some “save the world” types, (UN, Concern & Goal etc.). It was good to have a few beers with the first Irish people we had seen since leaving for Spain 4 months ago.

The finest coffee that can be had in the world has been drunk in copious amounts and relished every time. The coffee here is astoundingly good, strong and delicious! Within days, and partly climatised, we were back on the road again and coffee fueled. Lalibela and the Simien Mountains calling. 10 hours on the road to Lake Tana taking us down and back up through the Blue Nile Gorge and out to the highland plains. A jaw-dropping journey leaving me no time to sleep as one panorama was surpassed by the next. My eyes becoming sore from the constant scanning. Happily, this is not the vision that springs to mind when Ethiopia is mentioned…

Blue Nile Gorge

Blue Nile Gorge