Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A day out on the bicycles

Fred with bikes, in Bahir Dar
Originally uploaded by CharlesFred.
Bahir Dar is situated on some flattish ground on the shores of Lake Tana and many people ride bicycles. We chose to take some bikes out for the day instead of going by bus to the nearby Blue Nile Falls - Tis Abay - which hardly fall anymore, the water being re-directed through a hydro-electricity plant .. fair enough!

We chose to go over the Nile and along the eastern shore to the so-called Haile Selassie Palace, the journey being more important than the destination. It was great to get away from rivers, boats, cars, buses and be back on a bicycle, even though the roads were anything but smooth. We crossed the big bridge and passed vilages, pastures filled with cattle, donkey carts pulling building materials and sticks, from trees which are farmed along the riverbank, the sticks being used for scaffolding on building sites.

We gained a 'friend' along the way... and VERY unwanted he was to.... but no matter how many times we told him to go, get lost, vai, wegwezen, oprotten, hid and other such words, he would not go. He stuck to us, well Fred mainly, like honey to one's fingers when one has put too much on a sandwich. Of course it was bound to end in tears, well taunts, and we only got rid of him once we re-entered Bahir Dar.

In the meantime, the Palace proved to be a disappointment, a plain modernm building with a grand drive. I went down the hil to the banks in search of hippos. No hippos but plenty of beautiful flowers and birds.

Fred managed to get a flat tyre as we raced back down the hill and was condemned to walking the way back to the nearest bicycle repair man, with his 'friend' stuck beside him... Fred was AGITATED to say the least.

Anyway, back in Bahir Dar we found a pleasnt spot by the Lake to eat chips and drink a coke before Fred went off to blog and I cycled further around town, meeting assorted construction workers and shepherds!

We have our tickets for the 6.30 bus to Gonder tomorrow, where we hope to bump into Michael, the chap we spent many pleasant evenings with in Amman, about two months ago!

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