I am again way behind in posting. We haven’t had adequate Wifi for the last 3 nights so I am behind 4 days.
We left Mekele at about 8:00 in the morning. As we were driving through town, we saw a herd of camel crossing the street. It is very possible that they had just brought a load of salt to Mekele.
It was a 290 km drive to Lalibela. I expected to just take a few photos from the car and there were some.
First we saw cattle with large horns. I think this photo with the factory in the background is fun,
A man who was selling a chicken was waving it at us.
The streets were lined with cattle today. Ayu did a fantastic job of maneuvering our jeep around and through the middle of them.
I took a couple of photos of the rock formations in the distance …
…and a couple of houses.
We went from the Tigray region back to the Amhara region through the Woldia Mountain. The construction of the houses is now wood again.
Very shortly the hills became much less rocky and were covered in some kind of green foliage.
Then it looked like a camel convention. There were so many camel along the road.
This woman was dressed very colorfully.
I just took some random shots along the road.
We noticed that a camel was sitting down with his/her front legs bent at the knee.
Soon we were passing small herds of animals. Ayu told us that they were all being taken to the Saturday market but that this one was very big because it was just before Christmas. The Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated on January 7th.
I asked Ayu if we could go to the animal market. He turned the jeep around and kept asking people which street to take to get there. There were more Bajajs being driven around this small town than I had ever seen before. There must have been a hundred of them.
We had an absolute blast walking around right in the middle of all the cattle, sheep, etc. at the animal market in the town of Alamata.
Some people were selling branches of wood.
I loved taking photos of the people
and they seemed to enjoy having their photo taken.
Sue even took this photo of me showing them their photo.
I showed the photos that I took to each group or person. The boys really loved it. Sue took a photo f me shoeing the photos to a few of the men.
I saw one man with a rifle over his shoulder.
It was not each maneuvering through the animals. At one point a large cow pushed right through where Jane I were standing and I spontaneously grabbed onto Jane’s hand.
On man had a large log on a wagon.
A woman was carrying her baby on her back.
We sure had a good time at the market but we had to get going because we had a long drive ahead of us so back into the jeep.
Seeing the bajaj following this truck caught our eyes.
There were so many cattle blocking the road as we were driving.
Ayu said all of them would be eaten .] at the Christmas celebration. It was really hard to believe how many cattle and sheep were going to be eaten in one day. They eat every part of the animals and often eat the meet raw. Ethiopians only eat meet on the holidays (Christmas, New Years, etc.). Families and communities eat together sharing the food. I leaned that Ethiopian Christians actually fast on 265 days if the year,. When they do eat on those days, they cannot eat any meat products. So basically they have a vegan diet except for the special feasts.
We stopped for lunch. The waiter suggested goat-meat for lunch. The goat had just been slaughtered the previous day. It was pretty good but not the most tender meat.
Ayu stopped to try to buy honey for us but they only had quart jars and we didn’t want that much.
This man is selling home-brewed beer. The orange cup in front of his house indicates that he has beer available.
The last part of the day was over 40 km on an extremely rough road. I don’t know how Ayu did it. We saw vehicles along the road that had been in accidents and some that were stuck waiting for a mechanic to come help them It took several hours before we arrived in Lalibela. The whole drive took 9 hours except for our lunch break.
We checked into the Roha Hotel. I took a short walk before dinner There were several shops along the road.. One is called the Obama shop and the another has Opera’s name on it.
The Roha Hotel is the first place that we are finding to be disappointing. They do not put bottled water in our rooms. The reception people were not the friendliest.. We had been looking so forward to 3 nights in the same place. But there are firm (actually very, very firm) beds and a shower so we were fine. For a driving day, this was pretty good.