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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 1 - 10 of 2443 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Mar 28, 2021 12:00 AM Back in my Wojtkówka

Back in my Wojtkówka My African expedition is successfully completed! After four weeks of absence I went to my Wojtkówka, enjoying the spring sun and the first flowers in blossom.
Now is the time to relax, to copy all photos and video clips and to write the solid travel report for the other travellers wishing to go to this interesting African country.
The plan for the next travel is also ready, but requires some corrections, depending of the current covid situation...
Let's do it!

Mar 26, 2021 12:00 AM From Africa to Gdansk...

From Africa to Gdansk... Ethiopian Airlines has the opinion to be the leading airline for whole Africa. The terrminal in Addis is under development with the big, but unfinished departure hall. There are some duty free shops, but they are expensive... Just before midnight I boarded brand new airbus 350. Few passengers only due to covid, so everyone had a lot of space. Only one hot meal served on the 7-hours flight. Why they do not serve breakfast before landing, or at least Ethiopian strong coffee? In the morning I enjoyed lovely, spring sun shining in FRA airport. I am waiting for the connection to Warsaw. Everything goes well!
... until German border control and security check. These guys never generate my sympathy.... Why they address to me in German? Should I speak their language obligatory? Or maybe they are too lazy to learn English? Why the security guy was so suspicious taking away all stuff from my little backpack. - You should take your toothpaste off the luggage! Yes, sir!
I will try to stay away from Frankfurt!

Mar 25, 2021 12:00 AM Waiting for PCR test in Addis

Waiting for PCR test in Addis Back in Addis Ababa I am waiting for the result of the covid test, staying in the cozy White House Addis hotel... The best place to perform the test is Washington Medical Center opposite Rwanda Embassy. No appointment requested - just walk on, make a copy of your passport, pay 1500 birr or 40 USD and wait 24 hours for the result.
The strong sun still shines, and I celebrate my last day in the exciting Ethiopia.
At 5 pm I took a walk to the medical center. Crowd of people was waiting there for the test results, including two Europeans. Africa requires patiency - I was waiting almost an hour to get this important paper . Te test result was negative, so I am allowed to fly!

Mar 24, 2021 12:00 AM The gates of Harar

The gates of Harar Old Harar has well preserved town gates and it is good idea to see them one by one, to enjoy the colorful crowd to see the life. to photograph the vendors, kids going to the school and patient donkeys with loads of the firewood on the back. Old Harar is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage and has a lot to offer, but I must say it is still a dirty jewel. Sandy streets, piles of garbage, beggars and hemeless people sleeping just on the ground, even in the main alleys.
There is a museum (30 birr entry fee), a new, but permanently closed cultural centre. From the terraces of the centre you will have possibly the best view of the old and new Harar. Near the Shoa Gate there is a big fruit and vegetable market where I am buying tomatoes, paying 40 birr per kilo - like one dollar. Local beer in the shaddy bars cost only 20 birr per half litre (and you have to drink a lot to avoid dehydration! :) In the evenings at 7 pm locals offer to the tourists hyenas feeding spectacle. It costs 200 birr=5$ plus transport. You can have a pic with a hyena... Sorry, I do not like hyenas, I prefer pictures with the local people!
Today it is the time to say goodbye to historic Harar - after Lalibela probably the most interesting town in Ethiopia... But clean it up, please!

Mar 23, 2021 12:00 AM Camel market in East Ethiopia

Camel market in East Ethiopia Twice a week there is an interesting camel market 35 kms east of Harar on the road going to the the border post with Somaliland. It is not easy to find the place. The good orientation point is a big camp for Somali refugees - the markrt is just after that. It is very interesting place - apart from the two hundered of camels different age you will find there also "cattle department" and very colorful "goat department" where tha local ladies in color costumes take care of them. Imagine the noise, dust, heat... One camel can be worth as much as 1000 euro! Those primitive people sometimes want to be photographed while the others - no! I was showin the respect to both groups and I survived with many interesting pictures. Be prepared for many control points on the road: customs, army, police, road police. Yes, corruption exists - especially road police is expecting some money... Africa!

Mar 22, 2021 12:00 AM Flying to historic Harar

Flying to historic Harar If you use Ethopian Airlines to fly from Europe to Addis Ababa (that's what I did) they offer 50% discount on domestic flights. Sounds like 63 USD per segment - I think It is a good deal! I was flying Awassa - Addis - Dire Dawa. Then It wasn't' far to historic Harar - 1,5h- 35 birr by crowded minibus from the city bus station in DD.
Years ago I have been to historic Timbuktu/Mali, where first European was only in the middle of 19th century. Harar in eastern Ethiopia, the target of traders and caravans remained also like enigma till mid- 19th century, when Richard Burton in the clothes of Arab trader saw it for the first time.
Today historic Harar, surrounded by city walls with gates is placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The old part of the city is like the labyrinth of the 300+ narrow alleys. Many of 82 mosques remained with its little minarets. Some of the houses and walls are painted in pastel colours. It is nice. But you will see here a lot of powerty: garbage around, homeless people sleeping day and night just on the ground. Caravans of donkeys are bringing firewood used in the kitchens. No single tourist except me. Different, very authentic world!

Mar 21, 2021 12:00 AM Awassa or Hauassa?

Awassa or Hauassa? After morning visit to the National Park Shalla-Abiata ( I was watching there ostriches, big gazelles, warthogs and flamingoes I went to the university town of Awassa (called also Hauassa - Ethiopian alphabet is completely different and hardly transferabke to latin).
Awassa lies on the lake of the same name and it is a blue lake! ( here in Ethiopia' lakes has coffee & milk color) :) The best view is from the airport road (see picture). On the city-side along the lake goes nice, shaddy alley where the local lovers can whisper and kiss each other. But there are also little restaurants serving fish. Around them you will see many marabout birds waiting for the food. Strange: I did not see them in the national park in the morning. The provision must be better here! :)
Main avenue, dotted by high palms goes from the lake up to the big church of St Gabriel. Sorry, but Ethopian churches are closed during the day, so I did not see the interior. Awassa has also something I can recommend: Lake View Hotel - just steps from the coast. So far this is my favourite accommodation in Ethiopia. The young staff smiles, they provide all info, included breakfast is delicious with big bowl of freshly made mango juice. For the huge room with balcony I paid 1250 birr - like 30 dollars.
Such a traveller is qualified for the discount - they said! They probably saw less of Ethiopia than me... Thank you, dear friends!

Mar 20, 2021 12:00 AM Abandoned hotel on Lake Langano

Abandoned hotel on Lake Langano This was very long and tiring day, but I managed to reach Lake Langano before the sunset. Langano, situated 200 kms south of Addis Ababa is the only lake in Ethiopia free of bilharzia, so the people can swim in it without any worries. The poblem is that from the main road where buses/ cars operates is 3 kms distance by tbe sandy road. Where to go? I made a choice of Bekele Mola hotel located right on the beach. When I reached the gate the guards said: hotel is closed, no running water, no food, but regarding accommodation... I was to tired to go back to the main road and to look for the other place in the distance of 5 kms or so... So we made the deal - I will stay for 500 birr in their best room with mosquito net, with bucket shower only. They promised power, but it never arrived... The place is beautiful. Imagine long, sandy beach with a chain of the palms, flame trees in blossom in the garden and just-married Ethiopian pair who arrived here for the photo session. High cliff from the left side and mountains on the otjer side of the lake. And the silence... No, I did not swim because the water has a color coffee with milk... Next time!

Mar 18, 2021 12:00 AM Pretty ladies of Hamer Tribe

Pretty ladies of Hamer Tribe It is good to be in Turmi on market day (Mon or Thu) The people from the surrounding villages are coming to the main, dusty square of the village not only to to sell and buy, but also to meet families and friends. Most of them are from the Hamer tribe. Ladies are easy recognizable because their special hairdressing ( see picture) . But it is not easy to photograph them because they are shy and usually ask for money. If you are with the local guide it is worth to give him the camera - locals knowing tribe' language can take pictures without any problem.
Only bucket shower this morming. I have enough fascinating but very hot Omo valley. It is time tu turn back to the north or east of Ethiopia!

Mar 17, 2021 12:00 AM To the Karo tribe...

To the Karo tribe... Hot, hot, hot... Today I went to the village of Karo tribe - some 65 kms west of Trumi. It is beautifully located on the high bank of Omo River. People are painting here their bodies. But the place is very commercialised - they want 10 birr for each picture taken. For the first time I met here other tourists (2 cars) But it was still worth the tiring journey!

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