Going local ……

Day 82 –

L: Sunday morning and we are awake again with the chanting over the loud-speaker. We have been here a week and it still manages to wake us up. We were wondering how long it will take for us to be used to it. We feel like permanent residents in this hotel.

S: We were still dozing when the front door of the bungalow was flung open and nearly jumped out of our skins. Lesley went to check and found one of the cleaner ladies who said that it was a room check, sorry. That is just not acceptable. We found afterwards that our cleaner was off today, but they are supposed to knock 3 times before opening and also check to see if the key is handed in. Not cool. After breakfast, we complained at the reception.

Breakfast was the normal fare, but the juice and coffee are good and it is filling and included in the bill so we go each morning.

L: We are trying to keep busy here, but don’t really want to go out into the town as it is just crazy busy. We listened to a few videos that Steve has on the computer which have a Christian message so that was nice.

I am still enjoying the gardens with so many birds and we keep busy with planning and watching the news as well as a few movies.

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We went to lunch and the set menu was great with spaghetti with sardine sauce, sounds strange, but it was fresh sardines, not tinned and a real treat. Steve had the veal dish. We were saying that it was the first time in days that it was not raining while we were in the dining room. Spoke too soon………we did not get back to the bungalow without a drenching, ha ha.

It poured for most of the afternoon so we did not even get out for a walk. There is often thunder in the afternoons too.

Later, we had cereal and tinned fruit for supper (no cereal for breakfast ever) and Steve remarked again that it is nice to have familiar food every so often. I have been quite impressed with what Steve is willing to eat, even fairly enjoying his “puppy chunks”, soya meals. I see him eating watermelon in fruit salad and the occasional green bean.

A nice warm drink before bed as it seems to be more chilly in the evenings now.

Day 83 –

L: Most days, we get up and go to breakfast as we are never sure whether the water will be warm enough to shower and also I don’t have a hair-drier so we come back and brave everything. (I have a hair-drier that works off the car battery, but it is painfully slow). Now, heading for Europe, we are thinking, that we need an umbrella and a hair-drier before we reach there.

Today for a change, we showered (and were lucky with the water) and then went to breakfast.

We put in a huge load of washing again as there is no chance of getting anything dry in the bungalow and nowhere to sneakily put up a washing line.

Back, watching the news and it really seems that we are going to have to skip Israel with everything going on in and around the country. Maybe this is why we have been delayed here………It is strange now as we wait for our Jordanian visa as we are thinking that we may end up shipping to Greece from Port Sudan, Sudan and so could have got a Sudanese visa had we known and been on the road already. It will be really sad to miss Jordan, Israel and Turkey, but we can always come back. We are still planning so not sure where (or when) Egypt will fit in.

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Vultures circling over all the new little baby birds…….

Off to lunch now and then to e-mail the visa company for any news on the visa…..

We met a man from London, Alister, who was braving the traditional Ethiopian food, which we think we will try tomorrow. He is here for a second trip and gave us some pointers with regard to our route up north of Addis. Steve made the mistake of telling me about a hotel called Sunny Side who everyone rates as the bottom of the pile with bed-bugs and the like!! So I have persuaded Steve that we can go another route past Blue Nile Falls and Alister says that it is a beautiful route. It puts on 100kms, but that is nothing if it has no creepies!!!!! Why do men not understand these things. Once again, it seems that we will not get to camp much with our own “clean” bedding and mattresses.

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Baby Sunbird – really tiny calling for food

S: So, Alister said that he will come back to us with some more information as he has a friend who lives in Addis and can advise us on which places to visit as we go up towards Lalibela where the stone churches are. (L: I had suggested that we do the trip while we wait, but Steve preferred to wait here for the news of the Jordanian visa). Now, in hind sight, maybe that would have been good as it is already a week.

L: And now we have heard from the visa company. They went to fetch the visa, but the office was closed for the Muslim holiday, another day!!!!! (Yes, Sharon, it is astounding that we take so long to organise our visas – African time, again). :-))

Steve thought that I was crazy when I said that it would rain again on our way back to the bungalow. We were hardly inside when this almighty crash of thunder echoed overhead. I nearly died of fright. Wow. That was scary and then, the rain, again.

By the way, I am sure managing to catch up with the blanket making. So I have another 4 to distribute when we find someone who needs them. Thanks for asking, Wendy.

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Early evening, I was thinking about what to make for supper. I was thinking of cooking the mince from our little freezer so I went to the car to fetch everything. A lady came to the car to ask if we were South Africans and we got chatting. Netty, is a doctor, working with organisations in Africa to eradicate Tuberculosis. She has just returned from Mozambique.

Netty suggested that we all go for beer, which was great, so we sat on the balcony at the restaurant and all had beer-shandies. We chatted about our trip and she was able to tell us a lot about Northern Ethiopia.
She asked if we had tried Njera – the grey sponge-like pancake and we said that we were thinking of trying the traditional food tomorrow…..In the end, she helped us with what to order and showed us the drill. We had Beef Tibs (little pieces of meat) with sauce and the fasting food called Wats which has no meat. It is all scooped out onto the pancake on a huge dish and you only use your right hand (the left hand is considered unclean). We all eat off the one platter, tearing off bits of the Njera (pancake) to pick up the meat and veg and sauce. It was a lovely experience and really tasty.

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S: We had a lovely evening chatting to Netty. She is leaving in the morning and coming back for a few days at the end of the week so we may see her again…….Thanks, Netty.

And now, it is pelting down again as we catch up with our blog and we will soon be off to bed.

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