Arba Minch...zebras, hippos and crocodiles

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
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Trip End Mar 02, 2010


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Where I stayed
Rift Valley Pension, Arba Mich Tourist Hotel

Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Wednesday, February 10, 2010


OK, my buttocks never seem to get accustomed to the long bus rides.  After 4 hours, I always seem to get sore.  Kind of like road cycling, but I'm not getting any exercise.  The trip to Arba Minch takes 7 hours, but I make it just fine.  We have dropped in elevation, and the last three hours are very hot, and as the usual, no one wants to open any windows!!  What really amazes me, is some of the travelers are wearing a jacket as well as a shirt.  Wow!!

My first full day here I am able to take a long boat ride as well as being able to access the Nechasiar National Park from the boat.  I've made arrangements with a German man to share the cost and we depart.  On the way across Lake Chomo, there is a big variety of birds.  At one point I count 39 pelicans flying single file, about 1/2 meter from the water's surface, guess they were fishing.  Really a great sight.  It takes about 75minutes to cross the lake, then we get off the small boat, and walk the plains for 90 minutes.  Mostly see zebra's and lots of them.  They no longer have to worry about any predetors, unfortunately all of the lions and hyhenas that once were common are no longer.  Also lots of gazelles and dik-diks and bushbacks.

On the way back it's hippos, but only a few quick glimpses of them beyond their eyes and ears poking through the surface of the water.  One area, known as the 'crocodile market' has maybe 100 plus crocks slowly swimming and sunbathing along the shoreline.  I'm not going to be too adventurous here.  Occasionally, a local fisherman has ended up being dinner for one of these big guys!

At the end of the afternoon I make arrangements to leave the following morning for the Omo Valley, home to the most visually interesting people to inhabit Ethiopia.  When you see the photo's, you'll know what I'm talking about. 
I had planned to stay another day in Arba Minch, but because of certain market days in different villages, and the time it takes to get there, I'm leaving right away.

The hassle factor in Arba Minch is high.  Back to so many people wanting to be my guide, too many kids begging......sounds like I'm complaining, but just observing and relaying my experiences.  Just an observation, but eastern Ethiopia, which is predominantly Muslim rather then Orthodox Christian, has a much lower hassle factor. 
I'm not making any judgements, just observing...
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