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Wrapping up Ethiopia and heading to the sun (Sudan).

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Man, are we done yet…. I gotta pee, I’m hungry, they freaking smoke like Ethiopian buses in this internet cafe, and my air conditioning is calling me.

5am bus station. Local worker 10 birr tip, let in early, front seat. My ratio on buses runs around 40% front seat, 40% back seat, and the other 20% floating around the middle seats or on the floor. Not too bad of an average.

The original plan because of those rat bastards of Sudan and the fact there is only one type of transport to leave Sudan and enter Egypt from the North and that is the Wadi Halfa-Aswan Ferry service that only departs once a week on Wednesday. Okay, the plan was to enter Sudan on a Friday as that would allow me 12 days to bop around Sudan, arrive in Wadi Halfa for the Wednesday boat and still have one flex day just in case something happened (something happening to Africa transportation… thats crazy talk!) To narrow things down even farther, I would leave Gonder on Thursday and stay in a small town by the border just in case something went wrong with the Gonder to the border bus (crazy talk again.) Well, because of the fact that there are no signs in English and the fact that although the bus was supposed to go to the border but didn’t and we got dropped off in some other town and thrown on a different bus which was half the size and then driven to the border, I missed the town that I wanted to stay in since it was the only local town that had decent accommodations. So, instead of staying on the actual border in the usual shithole border towns, I decided to do the crossing that day (Thursday). I was also swayed by the fact that for the Visa and the additional fees, I would be spending $200US for two weeks (freaking rat bastard government.) I figured every day was pretty costly so why not use every last second I could, so on that Thursday I entered the little mud hut Immigration office, got my stamp, and was officially out of Ethiopia.

So thats it, Ethiopia is done. You’ll excuse me now as I go pee and then dance naked in front of my air conditioner.

Coming soon… Sudan.

Photos: Gonder, Ethiopia

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Overview
Gonder sits a top a hillside overlooking the valley.

Ray Mikael Sehul's Palace
The closed and offlimits Ras Mikael Sehul’s Palace

Cumuous clouds
There were these really interesting cloud formations that formed every evening. The Egyptian photographer guy was firing away, so I figured I should get a couple.

Debre Berhan Selassie Church Sellasie Church Ceiling Cherubs ceremonial drums Murals 1 Murals 2 Entrance way with priests
These were photos of the Debre Berhan Selassie Church which was to be the new home for the Covenent of the Ark (I did not find it here either.)

Royal Enclosure1 Royal enclosure 2 Royal Enclosure 3 Royal Enclosure 4 Royal Enclosure 5 Royal Compound 6 Royal compound 7
Photos of the Royal Enclosure. These are the best restored castles that I have seen. I actually wasn’t expecting that they would be so nice. A lot of restoration is under way, but those that were finished were really nice.

Gonder, Ethiopia: Africa’s Camelot

Sunday, August 19th, 2007
Gonder has been called Africa's Camelot, and with its series of castles and churches is one of the makor attractions of the historical route. Surrounded by all sides by fertile and well-watered land, and at the intersection of three ... [Continue reading this entry]

Simien Mountain bus ride photos

Sunday, August 19th, 2007
Simien bus ride 3 Simien bus ride 2 ... [Continue reading this entry]

In-transit: Aksum to Gonder

Sunday, August 19th, 2007
And were moving... First stop was thankfully three hours away in the transit point of Shire (India Selassie). It was kind of a transit point because the next leg down to Gonder was about 10-12 hours on a good day. The ... [Continue reading this entry]

Aksum, Ethiopia photos

Sunday, August 19th, 2007
King Bazen's Tomb King Bazen Entry way to King Bazen's Tomb. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ethiopia: Aksum-Tombs, Stelae, and Palace ruins

Saturday, August 18th, 2007
Ethiopie Hotel- nice and new with the smell of fresh paint. I loved that hotel and despise the Sudanese Government for putting a time limit on their visas. I only got to spend two nights there, but would ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ethiopia: In transit Lalibela to Axum

Saturday, August 18th, 2007
Because Ethiopia is huge and buses suck, transport takes days not hours. This leg of my voyage was to the far north, close to the border with Eritrea (would have liked to go there but Eritrea separated from Ethiopia ... [Continue reading this entry]

Photos: Lalibela, Ethiopia

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
I visited all of the eleven local churches, but I am just going to post pictures of some in no certain order. I suppose I could look back in my paperwork and get the names of the different churches ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lalibela, Ethiopia: Rock Hewn Churches

Monday, August 6th, 2007
Lalibela, also known as "Africa's Petra" (Think Raiders of the lost Ark, the one where he is riding through the canyons and out pops this huge city cut into the mountain, thats Petra. I will be there in a ... [Continue reading this entry]