Saturday, November 5

Gonder + Tim & Kims (Ethiopia)

Brett: The road from Debark to Gonder is very slow because of all the road works. We finally reached Gonder, where we went straight to the ATM to get cash, and then to the petrol station to fill up – we resolved to keep at least one of the jerries full at all times, so ended up taking 160l onboard. This may have been the single biggest petrol transaction in the history of the Gonder Total as its only really the tuktuks and motorbikes that run on petrol - as the numbers on the pump went up and up, so did the number of spectators who stopped to watch. We checked in at Belegez Pension ($10 double), which is a great little guesthouse in a nice and central spot right near the Royal Enclosure. Aside from a slight amount of hassle from prospective guides when we arrived, we really liked the feel of Gonder and set off to find lunch. We ended up at the New Day Restaurant next to Daschen Bank, where we had by far the best Kai Wat (out of several good ones) of the trip so far, with drinks, for the astoundingly low price of $2. We explored the Royal Enclosure ($6pp), an impressive collection of old castles, where we were too lazy or jaded to take a guide. There are pretty much no signs or info and the guidebook was also a bit sketchy on detail, and we were knackered anyway, so moseyed round in a daze making up our own wacky version of the possible history of the sites. We had hoped to bump into the English family to check up on the patient and return some birr they had kindly lent us - they had been heading towards Gonder, but I guess our delay of an extra day waiting for petrol in Debark meant they had already left. Back at the guesthouse we had a looooong hot shower (Mary was on her 5th day in the same t-shirt) and went out to dinner.
Mary: Gonder turned out to be a fantastic town for food – we went out to breakfast at the Telecafe under the post office – I had spotted fuul on the menu (a kind of garlicky bean gruel) and wanted to give it a go. It was absolutely magic and we rounded it off with a strong macchiato before staggering out in a blissful state. We stocked up on a few expensive basics and changed some birr into Sudanese Pounds at Belegez’s (at a bad rate – you can get a much better rate in Sudan on the black market than the “official” exchange rate) before heading for the Daschen Brewery for lunch and cheap draft beer. There is normally a free tour which ends with a free draft apparently, but the tour guy wasn’t around – suited me perfectly as I had been dreaming of getting to Tim and Kim’s ($3.50 pppn camping) at Gorgora / Lake Taka for a long time. On the way the heavens opened and we spotted some (Spanish) motorbikers sheltering under a tree but obviously heading the same way – once again I’m reminded how nice it is to have a car instead of a bike!
Tim & Kim’s is a lovely spot with great food courtesy of Kim. There is no running water (yet) and electricity is only from solar panels, but it is a great spot to just chill out. The motorbikers turned up and we spent the evening chatting over a beer. We caught up on chores – tonnes of washing, tidying and dusting, as well as fixing a puncture and rotating the tyres. We redid our dustproofing as the canopy and drawers were covered in dust from the last few weeks, and got ready to head towards the Sudan border...

1 comment:

  1. wow...can't believe you are still doing this! Awesome journey and life time worth of memory. Great Pics!