Great Gonder

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
1
176
228
Trip End Jul 15, 2008


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Where I stayed
Beleguese Pension

Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Monday, January 21, 2008

January 21, 2008
Gonder, Ethiopia
Exchange rate $1 = 9.2 Birr.
Yesterday afternoon we purchased our bus tickets from Mettama to Gonder. We forgot to record the price but we're sure it was under $10 for the two of us. We had to report to the bus at 5 AM this morning. The bus departed at 6 AM. When we speak of 6 AM we are talking European time not Ethiopia time. In Ethiopian time that would be 12:00 in the morning. 12:00 at night in Ethiopia is 6 PM to us. When you think about it, it does seem sensible to start counting the hours with the rising of the sun, but to avoid confusion we will give you times here in what the Ethiopians call European time. Another oddity is that the Ethiopian calendar has 13 months. 12 thirty day months and one 5 day month, this allows them to have the advertizing slogan of "13 months of sunshine." They also have the Julian calendar which means this is the year 2000 all over again. Ethiopia has a very distinctive culture and we are really enjoying being here, even though it is dirtier and poorer then the Sudan. We arrived in Gander about noon. We got a fairly clean room at the Beleguese Pension for 100 Birr. It's a good place to meet fellow travelers and overlanders. Overlanders are what we call those four wheel drives like the Toyota Land Cruisers and the legendary Land Rover outfitted specially for travel in Africa. Some of the old Africa hands tell us we are lucky to be traveling Africa now while it is still an adventure, because the new roads that are being built will soon make it so easy that one will be able to travel the length Africa in a Peugeot.
January 22, 2008
Fiche, Ethiopia
We purchased bus tickets from Gonder to Addis Ababa for 169 Birr as soon as we arrived yesterday. So we are committed to leaving today although we wish we could stay longer. The trip will take a day and a half. Again the bus leaves at 6 AM. The driver doesn't stop often. After a lunch break in BB he drove on for 8 hrs straight. We felt sorry for the little children on the bus. The exciting part of this leg of the trip is crossing the Great Rift. It is nearly dark when the bus stops for the night at a hotel in the town of Fiche. We are told we must get back on the bus at "11 Ethiopia", which means 5 AM European time.
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