Travel Journal

Lake Ziway

(Thursday 13 January 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 139-140 – 12/21-22/10
We paid a premium to catch a taxi from the hotel to the bus station rather than walking the streets when it was dark. Night fares are more expensive than day time fares and we were willing to pay more on top of that for door-to-door service as the streets are a bit dodgy. The bus station was very busy and we bought the tickets and the broker took us to our bus which we boarded. Apparently our bus wasn’t full so they merged us with another bus and we were off.
It was only about a few hours drive before we reached Ziway and left the bus to find a hotel. We checked a few foolishly asking for Wi-Fi connections (You’re not going to find it in Ethiopia) and a nice man took us to the Tourist Hotel which was really nice and since we wanted to relax for a few days we took it. I discovered my IPod was gone and I had not used it since the airport in Cairo and didn’t remember seeing it in Ababa but I called our hotel anyways to check but they hadn’t found it. It could have been taken by the security guards at the airport when they went through my bag and confiscated the water. The one thing I did not want to lose was the IPod because I had spent a lot of time transferring music and book recordings from different libraries and now I would not have them for the rest of the trip and which are not saved on my PC because there was not enough space. Bummer.
We just lounged around most of the day. There was a really good restaurant at the hotel where we had all our meals. In the morning they would have a side of a cow hanging at a butcher station next to the restaurant. If your dish had beef, the waiter would go over to the butcher and he would cut the meat to order and the waiter would take it to the kitchen to be cooked or spiced if you had it raw. In the evening they would switch to goat. If it was a fasting day, of which there are many, the butcher shop would be closed and the restaurant would work with a limited menu. There were a few westerners here but most were traveling through from Ababa and stopping here for lunch.
The next day we got in a horse carriage to go to the lake. The first horse was sickly looking and had problems going. When it blindly ran into another horse we knew it was time to switch to another carriage. We arrived at the lake and paid to enter – I guess it’s a park of some kind. There’s a private resort next to entrance that has a long walkway out over the marsh to the lake but we walked down a road to the lakeside passing some of the ugliest looking birds I’ve ever seen. There are monasteries on islands in the lake that I thought would be interesting to visit so we began negotiating with the “dock master.” Motorboats were too expensive so we settled on a row boat. Julie wasn’t happy with the boats because there was water inside from slow leaks but she sucked it up and got in.
It took an hour to row out to the island where we met a family that lived there and would show us around. The monastery is just a small building up the hill with a couple custodians and no monks. Ehh, it was an interesting diversion for the day. We declined the oarsman’s offer to see the hippos for an additional charge and went back. I didn’t realize how badly I got sunburned until we got back as I did not bring my hat.

We decided to go to Arba Minch the next morning which would have some safari opportunities at Nechisar National Park that would be much cheaper than any safaris we would take in Kenya or Tanzania; so we caught a minibus and headed south.

  • Time for Julie to two-step up by The Elder

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