Thursday, September 29, 2005

In Ethiopia!

CRAZY horse!
CRAZY horse!
Originally uploaded by CharlesFred.
We do not pull into anything like a bus station where we can catch the next bus to Harar, but somewhere on a crowded street in the old town (not so old as it was only built about 100 years ago as a stop on the French-built Addis-Djibouti railway).

There are lots of forms of onward transportation available. The cute royal blue and white old Peugeot 404 taxis, the moorbikes with passenger trailers behind and horses and carts. We decide on the latter.

Our horse turns out to be completely mad as he will not keep a straight line and keeps charging at pedestrians on his right hand side forcing them against the walls.

Not everyone is amused but it is a very very colourful introduction to the city. As luck would have it a bus is leaving for Harar just as we are coming into the bus station and it is spitting with rain now, so in we bundle and it is a short 48 kms into the mountains to Harar.

The scenery, in the rain, with muddy puddle everywhere and green fields and lakes reminds us most of Sumatra around Bukt Tinggi. It is amazing just how many people there are everywhere. It is just as Hein and Marion told us.. people people everywhere.
Colourful people. A road accident with a minibus tipped up, all safe, adds to the atmosphere.

So we finally make it to Harar, under dark skies, back again after v43 years. It is not the place perched high on a hill overlooking the desert which I had imagined and I wonder how it is that so many hyaenas live in the area, for apart from being a very holy Muslim city, it is also renowned for its hyaena man.

We eventually find our second choice hotel, find out that there is no hot water after all, despite us paying faranji prices and we ggo out to have a wholesome dinner of half a chicken and two beers each for less than EUR 5.

It is always SO thrilling to come to new places and new countries in particular. We are looking forward to the rest of our stay here.

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