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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