Harar

 

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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 park and sleep in the backdoor parking, which is a mess, but comes with a friendly price (8usd total)

Next morning, it took time to wake up, but the night wasn’t freezing like in Addis. We left the van just before lunch time, looking for a good place to eat in the old town of Harar (Jugol). On the way, we met 2 locals speaking english, Kalil and Davile, and after a brief chat, they decided to guide us to a good restaurant. On the way, more discussion, and a proper visit of Harar, which is a beautiful place with colorful houses under a deep blue sky. We were expecting herds of kids to follow us all the time, people to beg, but nope, none of this ! Maybe because of our guides ? We were obviously expecting then to ask for money in the end.
While walking in the street, they were always picking a few samples of fruits or local stuff for us to try, and they knew very well the history of their village ! Harar is indeed a very special place, home to many cultures and religions living peacefully withing the same walls.

We settled in the main square, where hundreds of eagles are gathering to get fed by tourists, but we’re here for lunch ! In Ethiopia, lunch always goes with coffee ! And it’s ALWAYS excellent. After a brief chat, we agreed to go on the ethiopian tradition, which is a big common plate for everyone. One of our “guides” went somewhere else to fetch some camel meat for our dish, and the cook made a delicious meal with this !!
To our surprise, they paid their share ! We went again for a tour in the city, and we finished the day at their place, chewing on khat, the local plant, the equivalent of coca leaves in South America. You quickly get a nice relaxing feeling with it, Phalguni wasn’t sure if she felt something, but everyone was definitely a bit euphoric after a few leaves 😀 After this nice moment, it was time for us to see the hyenas out of town, and Kalil decided to guide us again. We had to take mister Fox, it was really out of town, and maybe not a good idea to walk in the dark so far away. As soon as we stopped, the guy was already here, feeding a few hyenas. You don’t see much, just what will eventually cross the light beam for a parked car. He was surrounded by a pack of 10 of them, but they were behaving like shy stray dogs, nothing like the wild killing machines you may see in the rest of Africa. Yet, they remain killing machines.
Picture time, feeding time, you put a small stick in your mouth, a bit of meat on the other end, and a hyena will come for it, while they others make turns behind your back, giving your that evil laugh. That’s how close you can get from them !
What a fantastic day !

In the end, Kalil and Davile didn’t ask for any money, they were just very friendly, and wanted to share their place with us, so we decided to stay and to invite them for lunch next day. We could spent more time here but we heard rumors about large riots growing between us and the capital, and they advised us to leave tomorrow after lunch….

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