Metema to Axum – Ethiopia

Metema border

Metema border

Lake Tana sunset

Lake Tana sunset

Simien mountain bush camp, nic dragging a tree for the fire

Simien mountain bush camp, nic dragging a tree for the fire

Bad road to Axum

Bad road to Axum

Their huts with a beautiful outlook over lake Tana

Their huts with a beautiful outlook over lake Tana

Nicky lake tana

Nicky lake tana

Lily's dog bite at Tim and Kims at Tana

Lily’s dog bite at Tim and Kims at Tana

Bush camp in simian mountains outside Debark

Bush camp in simian mountains outside Debark

12th-20th April
We arrived at the Metema border at 9am on the 12th April. It is already hot but no way near the heat encountered in Sudan. It took us nearly 2 hours to get through to the Ethiopian side as the carnet stamping man in Sudan decided to have his breakfast and we had to wait until he had finished. Sib was fuming. So was I, but that was because I had a bad nights sleep due to the stifling heat and Lily was running around like a mad thing and chasing her when you are slightly irritable and tired makes life just a bit harder.
We headed to Gondar but on route decided to find the Kim and Tim’s campsite on Lake Tana. We took a convoluted route on a rough track and on the last T junction lost Sib and Priscilla.
We arrived at the campsite and it is very nice, it has clean showers and toilets and great views of Lake Tana but no Sib and Pris we had lost them and we had caused a right row between them both.
It is also a malaria area on Lake Tana and both Nic and I are not taking malaria tablets mainly because we would take the necessary precautions. Lily is on lauriam once a week and that is a bit of a mission to get her to swallow it unless it is wrapped in cake or hidden in the jam.
Kim and Tim was a nice experience apart from the mossies and other biting insects that bit me 50 times and the dog that bit Lily. The dog biting was unprovoked and a bit sudden. Lily was ok thank goodness and just sustained a superficial mark on her shoulder. I didn’t want to think what would have happened if it was a puncture bite and rabies. Lily was lucky and so were we. Tim and Kim told us they were putting the dog down.
Apart from the dog biting Lily enjoyed the book shelf of toys and she could have spent more time there. Tim and Kim’s have good kayaking trips, fishing and bird watching.
We decided to search for Sib and Pris and practically chased them for a week around Ethiopia. Ethiopia is full of mountain passes and hair pin bends that go higher than 3000m. This makes traveling exhausting as the roads are so windy with too many donkeys, goats, sheep and cows on the road, along with not being able to stop easily on the roadside without half of Ethiopia turning up! The locals use the tar road as a footpath which becomes dangerous drivng indeed.
After the Simien mountain disappointment we bush camped 6km north of Debark on the rough road to Axum. It was a great spot away from the kids who sadly just bug you until you give something to them. They just stare and beg. Most of them are so poor with one shoe or no shoes, stitched up clothing and rags over their shoulders. We were lucky for the night but had three children turn up in the morning begging whilst they should have been minding their cattle. We gave them pens, a football and some food. It makes you feel quite sad as you know there are so many of them in Ethiopia.
It was 260km to Axum on a terrible road. Although the road was rough it started well with lovely scenery and mountain passes. However after 40km we came to a grinding halt and experienced our first of many rock falls onto the road. What we had decided to get ourselves into was 100km of road construction which consisted of diggers knocking rocks onto the road from above, dynamiting the mountains, rock fall, land slides, DUST to die for. Awful awful awful! It took 9 hours to get to Axum and the last 80km was on a tar road which was too good to be true.
We got to Axum in a rainstorm and it had a nice and bustling atmosphere. A beggar came up to the car window asking for money. Lily answered saying ‘we have no money here’ about 3 times. It was hilarious.
Still no sign of Sib and Pris. We thought they might be here but cannot see their car. We stayed at the Remhai Hotel which was good. It had a restaurant, bar and a swimming pool for Lily and us two. I managed 2 swims at 2000m above sea level which was exhausting!
In the night we could here the dogs barking and the hyenas howling but at least we were behind locked gates…..

About familyinafrica

Passionate about travelling, nature, raising awareness for wildlife conservation projects and teaching my fellow man about travelling community health.
This entry was posted in Ethiopia, Our journey. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Metema to Axum – Ethiopia

  1. Chad Dixon says:

    Tana Lake looks much bigger from the shore then I thought from looking at the map. Ethiopia looks totally incredible!

  2. isaya john says:

    hi friends from tanzania isaya john

    • Hi Isaya how are you? I am please you have contacted us. We have now finished our trip and are in south Africa. We had a great journey from the Serengeti to Malawi and then Mozambique! What are you up to? Do you still want to be the president of Tanzania? Keep in touch! Nicky & Nic

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