Addis Ababa - Heavy Security..

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
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Trip End Dec 31, 2018


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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Sunday, November 4, 2007

We landed at Addis Ababa international at about 8.30pm after some 24hours straight in the air or air terminals, to put it mildly, we were gutted. But the great thing was that we knew that Heather had arranged an airport to hotel transfer. We walked out to the usual barrage of touts, taxis, and con artists but no sign reading Davey for our pick up. Not a good thing when ones fuse is smoldering from lack of sleep and no luggage (see next story). Eventually with the aid of a borrowed mobile it was established that a pick up was not happening, so we took a cab. Arriving at the Ghion Hotel and trying to get an answer on the mix up, they claimed they were waiting at the airport at 8.30am, but a quick check of emails showed we had requested correctly. Anyhow it was great to get to bed, even if we were in an adjacent apartment block (an upgrade apparently) which involved a 500 metre stroll.
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Next morning we were up and down the street searching for the most important item missing in our luggage, Larium or other malaria tablets. After several corner style pharmacies it became apparent that we were not going to get the correct medication (an Australian pharmacist at breakfast warned us against switching to another treatment or buying a clone which was likely to be fake, unless marked made in Switzerland) so we made do with buying some new tooth brushes and resolved not to get bitten by mozzies.

While we were out and about scouring pharmacies we noticed that Ethiopia still has year 2000 millennium celebration decorations about the city, I believe Ethiopia celebrate Christmas in January so perhaps somehow this affects when the Millennium is celebrated?

We then headed back to the hotel to catch our shuttle to the airport, for our final leg to Lalibela. This turned out to be quite an adventure too. For some reason the main drag to the airport was closed, so the shuttle was forced to take side streets and back lanes, revealing a side of Addis usually unseen by visitors. One thing which had already begun to stand out, was the security measures with extra airport searches and armed guards at city crossroads.

Then we were in the air winging our way over picturesque mountains, valleys and over Lake Tana the start of the Blue Nile which eventually dumps its water at Port Said in Egypt. 
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