Entries from 'Africa'

Christmas in Lalibela



// Nikon D7200 | 12,02781 : 39,04102 | alt. 2428m

With Christmas coming, and a few friends on the way, it was now time to find a nice place to celebrate the event.

We were driving on a plateau from the blue nile falls, but Lalibela stands on a mountain lost in this gigantic landscape, which reminds me of some national parks in the US (kings canyon perhaps ?) We had to drive all the way down, then climb again to Lalibela with stunning views all around. For sure, it’s going to be a nice location !
The main problem is, everyone is coming here for the church, which cost a whopping 50usd to visit, and everything is lining up with that price…. There is at least one place, Tukul village, which offers a small patch of grass for campers and overlanders, with a very friendly price (well at least for Lalibela), separate hot shower, electricity and wifi.

There is already one overlander here, a german couple with their massive truck, I met them back in Nairobi, and it’s one of the very few people I could not stand…. and since everyone find them socially awkward, I guess it’s not just a personal opinion.
Next day is a different story with Steph, Chris and Erin joining us for Christmas !
Before Christmas eve, we all went in a small bar with a 180 view over the lower valley, facing sunset. A few beers, a game of UNO, and we are ready for the evening !
Back to our camp, everyone is cooking, Erin is making a chicken curry, I’m doing roasted potatoes with duck confit (last can from France !), and a vegetarian couscous for Phalguni. Lot of beers and some good bottles of wine (surprisingly, Ethiopia is producing some fine bottles !) and the staff from Tukul did setup a nice bonfire for us. Cherry on the top, Chris put some special chemicals in the fire, making blue and green flames, classic christmas music playing in the background…. this is it, all we need for a successful Christmas 🙂 We spent few nights here doing the same thing, just enjoying each others company, and it could not get better. We have a few shops in the street to resupply, along with people waiting for us by the gate… asking for money, or to offer their services as guide….. you have to deal with this every time !

The next few days, we did some hiking, on top of the Lalibela mountain. On the way, we met someone asking for money, and he then decided to join us all the way….. we made it clear a few times we don’t need a guide, and we won’t pay. But he still joined us, ended up being annoying, and on the way back, he asked for money again. They never take no for an answer in this country….. Despite the annoying locals asking for money all along the way, the view from the top was fantastic, and worth the short hike (4.5hrs return), in my opinion the best option for hiking on your own in Ethiopia since locals are charging way too much for the Simens mountains.

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Blue Nile falls

  // Nikon D7200 | 11,48631 : 37,58621 | alt. 1638m The long 500kms drive between Addis and the blue Nile falls was an experience in itself. My paper map showed a nice tar road all the way, but we had to cross a few terrible sections. The part where we had to cross…

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Road to Bahir Dar

  // Nikon D7200 | 8,99182 : 38,74846 | alt. 2293m As suggested by our friends, we left Harar after lunch and took the road back to Addis. On the way, road blocks were getting bigger and bigger, but we always managed to swiftly cross them, dodging all the bigs rocks and boulders blocking the way….

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  // Nikon D7200 | 9,31167 : 42,12249 | alt. 1895m Long drive to Harar….. my back is getting really painful now. I’m not used to cover long distances anymore since Botswana…… Using Ioverlander database, we managed to get a place to stay very quickly (at the Ras hotel). A very fancy hotel where we can…

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Addis Ababa

  // Nikon D7200 | 8,99182 : 38,74846 | alt. 2293m The border was surprisingly quiet……way too quiet….. this cannot be right. Biiiig buildings everywhere, lot of construction, no sign, no one to guide me…. this is strange. Found immigration, they check for my ethiopian visa, and I got my stamp. Super easy to leave Kenya….

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Turkana route

  // Nikon D7200 | 2,75621 : 36,72124 | alt. 383m Well, some bad words for Nikon here, this is my second D7xxx dslr, and the second one to die on me in a trip…. This time looks like water damage, and I still cannot figure out what happened. The camera is making a short, and…

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Jungle Junction

  // Nikon D7200 | -1,36214 : 36,74015 | alt. 1818m Crossing the border was easy going. On the kenyan side, very friendly attitude from customs, smile and everything, one of the first border like this ! Still $50usd for the visa, and I should pay $40usd on top for road tax, but here in Kenya,…

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Source of the Nile

  // Nikon D7200 | 0,54263 : 33,08976 | alt. 1108 m Driving in Kampala is like an appetizer before going to Nairobi. You have to remember how it feels to get stuck in traffic jams for hours. Nairobi will be the ultimate experience…. For the first time since Malawi (second poorest country in Africa !),…

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Queen Elizabeth park

  // Nikon D7200 | -1,03556 : 29,77637 | alt. 2359m Time for the best moment, a border crossing to Uganda ! I went to immigration, but they told me I would have to do everything on the Ugandan side. Now I’ve got a money changer following me everywhere. His rate is a ripoff, so I…

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Lake Kivu

  // Nikon D7200 | -1,73381 : 29,27317 | alt. 1463m The rally was over, Uwe and I were going back to Kigali. He’s driving south back to South Africa, and this will give me a chance to say goodbye to Yann and Jeanne. We did a bit of climbing on the way, and oh boy…

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magbo system