Day 11

Day 11 – From the Simiens to Bahir Dar – Katie and Sophie

An early start was only the first challenge in what turned out to be a long but largely relaxing day. Katie finding the other half of her spork was very exciting for her.

We packed up camp at Sankobar and embarked on a 2 hour trek to where the bus was waiting for us (definitely the muddiest and rockiest so far). After walking for what seemed like much longer than it was when made the same journey 4 days before, we were warmly welcomed by an extremely ecstatic Tserguy (Ethiopia’s finest bus driver) and a large pack of Gelada which was a fantastic experience. While the bags were loaded we sat with these lovely animals for a final time. To be so close to them and for them to┬ábe completely oblivious to our presence was great.

To any other English folk, the seats on the bus would have seemed nothing swankier than the 10 from Ryton, but after four days of mud, sweat and tears they were in actual fact, heaven. It was a mixture of emotions – not wanting to leave the mountains but excited about being in Bahir Dar.

The prospect of a hot shower (not a freezing cold waterfall that we had been used to) was great, and everyone was looking forward to having the chance to get really clean again following our epic adventure into the hills. Soon off the mountains we had a brunch stop at Debark where we indulged in pancakes and of course lashings of REAL Nutella, except for Sophie who had yet another omelette. Some of us got our shoes shined by some lads outside the restaurant and were returned cleaner than ever.

Another 6 hours on the party bus driving from Debark to Bahir Dar saw more of Tserguy’s tuneful meowing and singing to keep us entertained. Games were played with us all joining Rachel with her favourite – the alphabet game. We drove from Gondar through some amazing landscapes with spectacular rock formations and rolling hills, before finally arriving at a little piece of paradise – the Ghion Hotel in Bahir Dar – our home for the next 7 days. The gardens are amazing, with loads of flowers, coffee bushes, enormous trees full of tropical birds.

We are really looking forward to spending some time here and also to be getting started on working at the Centre and Shimbet School. Bye bye mountains – hello Bahir Dar.

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