Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

to abyssinia

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
"What is your final destination?" the agent at the Virgin Atlantic check-in counter asked. "Addis Ababa, Ethiopia" I said "can my luggage be checked all the way to Ethiopia or do I need to re-check it at Heathrow?" After checking the system, the agent said "your luggage is checked all the way to Otopia, but you need to get the boarding pass for your next flight in London."

Two long flights later I've reached the mysterious "Otopia". Addis was cool, being at 7000ft. Buildings were old and congested traffic everywhere. Our hotel the Jupiter had nice facilities, free internet stations and a gorgeous bar. However, my room was small and dark as the windows were small. The bed was clean and comfy and as far as I could tell, no beg bugs. Mosquitoes were not dangerous at this altitude, so I refrained from starting the Malarone regimen, the malaria pills, afraid of their potential side effects, until we get to the malaria zone in Bahir Dar. I did not go out to explore town because I was simply too knacked from the journey and just rested until dinner. The hotel restaurant looked very nice and modern and there was a lot of food selection on the menu. I've ordered a chicken but it was chewy and covered in thick gravy and tasted very salty. Plenty of time to try injara later on the trip.

I've already started planning this trip even before I went to Morocco. Although it wasnt originally on my travel list, the lure of the rock cut churches with their religious paintings (the Hippo is a sucker for these), the castles, the source of the Blue Nile, the spectacular mountains, the food and the Ark legend, had infected me when E told me about her trip to this country. It's so different in its religious fervor, legends and history. Ethiopia stood alone in this respect among other African nations. It's worth a visit.

For months I've been planning this trip, researching the historical sites and hotels online. The warnings about the malaria spreading mosquitoes, bed bugs, no hot water or lack of water in hotels, and transportation with no ac, had me worried, and as precautions, I've even researched on potential mosquitoes at the sites I was going to visit, read up on bed bugs, and got eucalyptus lemon juice and deet sprays and an electric handheld fan. This was probably the most researched and awaited trip I've ever done.

So Abyssinia, the Hippo is here!

Ethiopia photos:




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