Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

lodge at 3260m

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
the terrace was the only good thing the yeha hotel had to offer. had my morning coffee in the refreshing cool morning air and panoramic town view.

today is easter sunday, and S's 50th birthday, but we'd be stuck in the car for a long drive up the mountains to the 3000m Simiens National park. dusty dirt roads again, and along the way, many villages with stone huts, sheep and cows crossing the road. it's beginning to be old. while passing through one village, suddenly our driver stopped the car and so did the one behind us. it turned out, a young man was throwing stones and we had to wait to make sure he would not throw anything at our car before proceeding. In another road, big rocks and tree trunks were put on the road to block our passage. Yishak had to get out and removed them. He spotted a blue shirt, which most likely belonged to the perpetrator, hung on a tree. to teach him a lesson, yishak took the shirt. this guy will have quite a beating from his mother for losing the shirt.

We've stopped at the town of Shire for coffee and cake. We chose 4 different kinds to share and they were wonderfully delicious. Not overly sweet like the ones we have at home. I've found a very interesting and sensual painting of poseidon or zeus fondling the breast of a beautiful naked woman (some goddess?), lying down, esposing an enormous vulva.

Since lent fasting was over and each household would be cutting new meat, we had fresh goat meat at a village hotel for lunch. The meat was very tasty but again very chewy. Some of us had bread with it instead of injara. A young blond couple was sitting in front of the hotel where we had lunch and the guy asked us for a ride. He looked completely stoned and the couple looked like they're having trouble of some sort, looked tired and dazed, probably out of money and drugged. We couldnt help them since our car was already full and we didnt know what sort of trouble they're in.

the mountainous landscape going up to the simien was spectacular. the adwa mountains were dramatic looking and we've made many stops to photograph them. We had to stop at the town of Debark to get our park permits and to pick up our scout. by law we could only enter the park with a scout. he carried a loaded riffle to ensure there were no poachers. so one more person added to our already loaded vehicle.

Up at the simiens lodge, at 3260m, the highest hotel in the world, the air was considerably colder. the lodge comprised of 3 rows of stone round guest huts, each hut had 2 rooms. They were roomy and the shower had good pressure and very hot water, powered by solar panels. Their website said the room floors were heated but my room had no heated floors. instead, after dinner, they gave us each a hot water bottle to warm our beds. The rooms offered good views of the mountains. A small sitting area was in front of each room and this was the second amazing lodge we had on this trip. I didnt mind not doing anything at all and just enjoy the lodge. dinner came with a fantastic soup but the main entree was just OK. The night was quiet and to my surprise, not extremely cold at that altitude. In fact, i did not feel the altitude at all except walking to the rooms required some effort as they were on a higher ground than the main building. I was afraid the gelada baboons, which were known to roam the area, would be all over the lodge, but I didnt encounter any.

there's an enormous fire in an enormous fireplace at the center of the bar, the only warm place where the lodge guests congregated in the evening. we celebrated S's bathday there with cake and coffee. We've ordered the cake ahead of time and it was although just simply a 2 layer pound cake, most delicious.

SmallLeo sat in front of the window in our room all day and in the evening, admiring the view of the mountains, and at night he slept in his own bed, resting on a big pillow. He was a happy camper.

Simien Lodge photos:




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