Day 16 – The Blue Nile Falls – Joe and Ellen
We all awoke with exitement as the night before we were informed by Griff that we were heading to the the Blue Nile Falls, the second biggest falls in Africa. Everyone was thrilled and following breakfast we were on our way.
When we arrived at the Blue Nile Falls park we were 1 hour away from the actual falls as we had to cross a rather steep high hill, which everyone was up for. The first time we gazed upon the falls we were coming around a corner on the other side of a small valley, everybody to say the least were amazed at the spectacle, to know that we were standing near the source of the Blue Nile a river that will feed millions and even become the river Nile was just superb.
After witnessing the falls for the first time we continued on to get closer. We eventualy came across a bridge to cross a river to take us to the top of the falls. It was like a rope bridge made from metal and after crossing the bridge which was quite high and wobbly we reached the other side with only a 2 minute journey to the point above the falls. From here we walked down a little path that took us to under the falls, which was really truly spetacular, and you could see the look of exitement and joy on everybodies faces even those who had been before like Natasha and Mcgrah. We all had the choice to go right to the bottom of the falls where the falls crashed into a pool however only a few of us did these included Joe and Mcgrah followed soon after by Rachel, Kirsty and Jacob. We traveled down in nice, dry, clean clothes and exited with soaking smelly clothes however with smiles on our faces as it was an experience we won’t soon forget.
After taking numerous “selfies”, as well as listening to a short lecture from the oracle Mcgrah about the falls, we were led by our guide along a hilly path that meandered through fields of corn and resembled those which we had encountered during our trek in the Simiens. The group by now were well accustomed to hiking, in particular hiking in mud, so much so that some of us are even starting to resemble mountain goats. The trail we took led us to the Blue Nile River itself, and here Griff announced we would be taking a small boat across – thankfully a change from the river crossings we had experienced in the mountains, that didn’t involve having to take off our socks and shoes and wade through the icy water. The river crossing was great as it allowed us all to stop for a moment and take in the the scenery, whilst trying to spot some crocodiles. After the river crossing, we hopped in the bus and headed back to the hotel for showerS and food.
The afternoon consisted of half the group working at the Centre (interviewing some of the students) and the other half of the group working at Shinbet school – either unleashing their inner DIY skills by fixing the final few desks and then moving them into the appropriate classrooms, or painting the walls with ‘artistic flare’ and ‘creativity’. By the end of the day, our efforts had payed off and we had managed to clean and paint 6 classrooms and arrange and fix all of the desks – making the school look like a much nicer environment to study in, the students’ faces were worth all our hard work.
During the evening, we decided to explore the local cuisine Bahir Dar had to offer us ferengie’s, seeking out new restaurants the group hadn’t visited before, then ending the night with a few drinks in a quaint ‘art gallery’ some students discovered. All in all, the day was great and everyone was really enjoying their time at Bahir Dar.