Lake Tana. Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Imet Gogo. Semien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Farmer. Semien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Scout. Semien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Debre Berhan Selassie Church. Gondar, Ethiopia. Semien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. National Museum of Sudan. Khartoum, Sudan. Pyramids of Meroë. Begrawiya, Sudan. Temple of Apademak. Naqa, Sudan. Napatan pyramids. Kerima, Sudan. The family of Ahmed Mousa. Kerima, Sudan. Nubian girls. Soleb, Sudan. Temple of Amun. Soleb, Sudan. The boksi. Wadi Halfa, Sudan. The ferry. Lake Nasser, Egypt. Sun Temple. Abu Simbel, Egypt. Temple of Horus. Edfu, Egypt. Nubian village. Aswan, Egypt. Mahmoud the Nubian. Aswan, Egypt. Temple of Amun. Karnak, Egypt. Valley of the Kings. Luxor, Egypt. El-Doqqi. Giza, Egypt.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Location: Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

In Doubt.

going downhill in Sankaber
going downhill in Sankaber

We have once again made a long trip today. We got up early before sunrise and started going down the mountain at seven o'clock. We had to wake up our guide as usual. I think his presence has been completely unnecessary in the past four days. Downhill we met again the two groups of friendly geladas that we had met going up. Apart from them we have seen two small bushbucks crossing the road, three deers, and a huge lammergeier flying a few metres above our heads to take a close look at us.

This last morning was a very good effort from us; we covered thirteen kilometres with Adri at more than 3000 metres high in full gear in about two and a half hours.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Location: Semien Mountains, Ethiopia

The highest mountain yet.

afro-alpine landscape on the way to Imet Gogo
afro-alpine landscape on the way to Imet Gogo

We had a bad sleep. At the Gich Camp 3600 metres high it was cold even though we are close to the Equator. This was made even colder by the fact that four days ago we were in hot Sudan. Our guide told us last nigt that there would be blankets in the camp. He was right actually but he forgot to mention that it costs extra. Luckily Adri had insisted on carrying our warm sleeping bags along. I had wanted to leave them at the Sankaber Camp to reduce weigh. My backpack would have been lighter by two kilos. We zippered them together for the night to warm each other. Because of the altitude Adri had a bad headache all night. The bunk meant a blanket spread on a wooden board and it was terribly uncomfortable. We shared a room with Gitta and Kornelius.

We could hardly sleep and when we did I dreamt with the employees of the National Park Office. We were arguing about the price of the jeep when one of them pulled out his pistol and I woke up.

Monday, 23 September 2013
Location: Semien Mountains, Ethiopia

Hiking.

at the Jinbar Waterfall in Sankaber
at the Jinbar Waterfall in Sankaber

Today we have continued our hike from Sankaber Camp to Gich Camp, which stands at 3620 metres. After yesterday's three-hour hiking, today was a bit of a let-down. At the beginning the sun was very bright and the air was very humid, which concealed the magnificient view all along our way. We were walking at the edge of the plateau, at times along 800-metre-deep escarpments. There is a creek falling down deep from the edge of this escarpment. This waterfall is called Jinbar and is 500 metres according to our guide! We could not even see its bottom. High above huge bearded vultures, also known as lammergeiers were flying in circles, coming very close to us. Their wingspan is around two and a half metres! The lammergeier is the vulture that gets the bone marrow by flying high with the bone and dropping it on rocks to break them up. They were also accompanied by smaller birds with bluish body and orange wings. We have also seen two jackals and two deers today. We are lucky with the season; everything is in blossom.

Sunday, 22 September 2013
Location: Semien Mountains, Ethiopia

The Road to the Semien Mountains.

gelada baboons in the Semien Mountains
gelada baboons in the Semien Mountains

We have spent no more than one and a half days in Ethiopia but we were already in need of some fresh air. Ethiopia is like India. Taking a rest is impossible, somebody is always hassling you or begging. Every single person is cheating with the prices and you have to be alert at all times, which is very tiring even after only one and a half days. Having spent one and a half days here we are longing for peaceful and calm Sudan.

This morning marked the low point. But it all had begun with the border crossing when our "helpful" friends had stayed with us all the time and we had been unable to find out the real price of the minibus. I can still recall the boy's sentence: "my friend, don't worry, people won't hassle you here, this is no Sudan!" Well, it is not, really.

Saturday, 21 September 2013
Location: Gondar, Ethiopia

Casual sightseeing in Gondar.

the ceiling of the Debre Berhan Selassie Church in Gondar
the ceiling of the Debre Berhan Selassie Church in Gondar

We have been easygoing today. We got up late then we took our time with the breakfast in the hotel. We could negotiate its price in the normal room price yesterday.

People back at home do not know much about Ethiopia, other than of course that there is famine and barrenness there. In fact the Ethiopian Highlands stretching at an altitude of 2000 meters is the largest fertile area in all of East Africa. More than nine tenths of the water of the Nile comes from these mountains covered with lush forests, which is also known as the "Roof of Africa". The Ethiopian Church is 1700 years old, older than Christianity in Western Europe. The ancient Abyssinia boasts the richest historical heritage south of the Sahara and she is the only African nation that has never been colonized. That's it about the insight of the media.

Friday, 20 September 2013
Location: Gondar, Ethiopia

In a remarkable land.

curious Amhara people
curious Amhara people

Our night was crappy, neither of us slept well. I because I had a fever, and Adri because she was worried about me. Not that my condition was so unbearable, but having a fever is never a good sign. Anyway, I told Adri what to do in case I would not be able to continue my way to the Ethiopian border the following morning. Here, in one of the remotest corners of Africa, somewhere halfway between Sudan and Ethiopia, the health care system is far from ideal, and as a bonus nobody speaks English. I told her how to ask for a phone in Arabic, how to say "my husband is sick", and "hospital", and so on. She was not supposed to allow me to be treated in a rundown local hospital; we had seen some of them on the go. There is not enough money here even to insert a new infusion needle for everyone. Moreover, at that single place we were even exposed to malaria. She was to take me back to Khartoum anyhow.

Thursday, 19 September 2013
Location: El-Gedaref, Sudan

I've got fever.

streets of El-Gedaref from the balcony of the Amir
streets of El-Gedaref from the balcony of the Amir

The restaurant staff of the Dubai Hotel were still asleep at our breakfast time that we had arranged for seven in the morning. This had two consequences for our long day today.

First, we missed our eight o'clock coach to El-Gedaref. That is, we would have missed it if such things were heard of in Sudan. We were the last to board at eight twenty; they were waiting for us only. We even jumped into a taxi in front of the hotel instead of taking the minibus. We caught the driver at the corner the moment his tea was served to him. He took us to the station balancing his hot tea in hand all the way. The horde of porters was already waiting for us there. They were so eager they almost bought us two more tickets, even though I kept waving the ones that we had bought yesterday in my hands.

Second, I got some diarrhea with fever from the hastily prepared breakfast, which has culminated tonight. I have measured 37.9 degrees fever recently.