My Ethiopian Adventure: On the Road from Debre Markos to Addis, Crossing the Nile Gorge


Once again, we drove through rain and clouds and endless fields, some of which had been cultivated ready to plant and some all green and growing.

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I realize this is not what most people in the United States think when they hear the word Ethiopia.  I kept thinking of photos I had seen of Ireland.

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The ancient grain, teff, produces extremely tiny seeds which are ground to flour to make injera, an Ethiopia staple.  It is used much like people in India use chapatis or like people in Mexico use tortillas.  However, it looks nothing like either of these.  It is thicker and a bit spongy like crepes but huge–more than a foot in diameter.  The man in the photo below is sowing teff.

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Teff fields stretch almost as far as the eye can see.

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Villages are frequently set along side the good highways.

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Major highways are excellent.  The only really bad road we traversed was in Simien Mountains National Park where they keep the road that way on purpose. Well, that and the streets in Addis.

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As we came closer to the Nile Gorge, it became more mountainous again.

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First sight of the Nile Gorge.

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All major bridges seem to have a resident guard.  Unlike the guard at the bridge in Bahir Dar, this guy told us we could walk around and take photos.

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If there is a guard, he has to have a guard house.

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And a house.

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Even though by this time I had not only floated down the Nile but also crossed it in a boat a couple of times, I remained entranced.  We walked across the old bridge built in 1948.  Actual traffic now crosses the new bridge built by the Japanese.

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Personally, I did not see anything wrong with this old bridge and wondered why they thought they needed a new one.

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A couple of signs written in several of the languages spoken in Ethiopia commemorate the old bridge.

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As we climbed out of the gorge, we saw common baboons begging.  They are neither as pretty nor as friendly as gelada baboons.

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I could not resist taking a variety of photos looking back down into the Nile Gorge.

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Dino could not resist stopping for one long, last look at the Nile.

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When we asked the name of this waterfall, we were told that it was just an ordinary waterfall and had no name.

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The final switchback before we became immersed in the clouds.

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