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19/02/17, stage 23, Farm Camp to Bahir Dar

Relatively short stage today, only 61k and not too much elevation gain. To make sure that I would not run into too many rowdy kids I decided to head out early and to ride together with Baldr, meaning to ride fast at the front of the pack and to put the 61k behind us before the kids woke up and felt like throwing rocks at lycra wearing westerners.

The landscape here is absolutely amazing. It feels like a landscape from epic biblical times, with golden light, roling hills, large ancient wisdom trees and people that dress in robes and walk with tall sticks and tend to cows and sheep and goats. It’s what I imagine southern Europe’s landscapes could have looked like before we cultivated it. And underneath the rising sun it was just spectacular!
Right before Bahir Dar I stopped at a church service. The service was held inside the church, but the church was full so people were standing and sitting and participatig outside as well. Christianity is still big here. It was as if Jezus himself had come to pray and attracted all these curious people, but these people are here every sunday, to listen to the local preacher instead of a celebrity. Such devotion. And a beautiful sight…
We arrived at camp at around 930. Tomorrow we have another restday here, so I checked into the hotel. After that I went to the hotel lobby and told the receptionist that I would like to see hippos, so the receptionist arranged a guy with a boat to take me up lake Tana and the blue Nile to see hippos 🙂 I gathered 7 other people to join and we had a great time and indeed saw hippos, a whole pack of them with different sizes. Very impressive, I was very happy 🙂
The rest of the afternoon was used for being lazy. In the evening I went out with Baldr and Fred for diner and drinks. We ended up with some local students in their 3×3 chilout space with beers and music. We drank and laughed together and watched some of the guys do their dancing. We had some proper conversation as well. One of them just graduated and wanted to go abroad to make a good salary and to wear a suit, because there were no opportunities for him here in Ethiopia. We tried to explain him that if all smart people leave a country like Ethiopia, that that probably is not a good thing. Next to that he will probably be treated like shit if he comes to Europe. It’s a bit sad that people here feel inferior, like there is no real hope for their country and that it is not even worth to give it a try. I hope they will though: Ethiopia needs its own smart people. Luckily they now seem to have president in place that will facilitate them. If you ask the locals about the new president, they all seem to be content, so at least that’s a good thing! Sometimes revolution does pay off…

Morning sun over the big ancient ficus trees that dominate the hills

Girls in colorfull wear…

Baldr on the down hill

Church service, people wearing white, sitting and standing and participating outside the church

Shores of lake Tana, surrounded by wetlands

Crossing the blue Nile, which funnily enough flows south first before making a big bend towards the north to join the white Nile in Khartoum.


Hippo!


They have big mouths…


In big heads!


We saw eagles to!

Hangover! Fred and Vik and Baldr are a bad influence on me…

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