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IamFisheye

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  1. Day 14 Thu 15 Oct Bale Mountains pt 2 We drove to the far side of the plateau and turned around. No wolf sightings only brds for the return journey. In my notes I have jotted down “Poor pics of golden eagle”. Which must be these pictures which were just grab shots that I’ve done my best with in Lightroom to recover some detail. We stopped for our picnic lunch around 12. Getting out of the car at the top of the plateau to stretch our legs at the same time. It was bleak, windy and cold. Some of the fauna reminded me of home. After lunch we continued our drive. All was qute as we headed back towards BML, we didn’t see any more wolves but we did stop for a few landscape shots. On the way back towards BML and just past the village we spotted a troop of Bale Monkeys attempting to cross the road. They seemed very nervous and we very cautious as the took it in turns to leap down from the cover of a fallen tree and run across the open road. Under the watchful eye of an older male. This one made a full page spread in the winter 2017 edition of Wildlife Photography World A little further down the road our guide spotted a couple of colobus monkeys sitting in a tree. The view was pretty poor so we got out of the car to take a closer look. It was still difficult to get a clear shot the trees were so green and lush. Trees on the opposite side of the road We overshot the lodge entrance and continued along down the road. We were getting fleeting glimpses of bushbucks and a few different types of birds but nothing too exciting. Then we hit an Olive Baboon roadblock I got out of the car and took a slow solo stroll towards the troup. They started to move into the forest and up into the trees The last defiant male The drive was starting to get a little tedious and Angela was starting to get some nasty stomach pains. So we headed back to the lodge. Angela took to her bed for the remains of the day. Yvonne sorted her out with a flask of ginger tea and later on some soup for dinner. I spent the remains of the afternoon taking snaps from the balcony And trying to get a half decent shot of one of these splendid looking birds The evening at the lodge was a complete contrast to the previous night as they had a visit from their co-funders the African Wildlife Foundation and every room was full. There was a talk in the bar from a couple of people from the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Project. Followed by a group dinner which I was invited to join as I would have otherwise dined on my own. It was a good evening.
  2. Day 14 Thu 15 Oct Bale Mountains Today we could have a lie in, the wolves generally don’t start to show themselves up on the plateau until around 10am which meant we didn’t have to leave BML until around 9:30. We were still up at a reasonable time to get ourselves sorted and work out what we needed laundered to get us through the remains of the trip. We had a wonderful night's sleep in a warm comfortable bed with the added luxury of heating provided by the room’s wood burner, lit for us while we were still enjoying dinner. Tea facilities were in the room which meant we could also make ourselves a nice cup of tea before venturing up to the main lodge for a lovely slow breakfast at 8:15. Pre breakfast views from our balcony Bale Mountain Lodge is co owned and run by Guy & Yvonne Levene. Guy was away on business in Addis and had Yvonne to manage things and what a wonderful host she was. We had plenty to chat about over our stay and found we had a few things in common including coming from the same corner of Essex. We left at 9:40 and spotted our 1st Wolf as we hit the plateau. It was a fair distance away from us so we just sat and watched it disappear further into the hillside as it pursued a hare. We were too far away to find out if the hunt was a success. Spotting wolves up here, even on a lovely clear day like this is no easy task. They are coloured the same colour as the lichen which can play tricks with your eyes. Our second sighting was not much later when a wolf popped out from behind some rocks and ran across the road. This one was a little nervous and hid behind some rocks. Further along the road we found a youngster lying by the road until we disturbed it and it shot off. Then the highlight of the day as we came over the crest of a hill. A pack of six wolves ran across the hill side. We stayed with them for as long as we could until the eventually slid over a ridge. Five of the pack of six A few closer encounters and a Full house
  3. I'm pleased with this one from the Mara in 2016 (Feb). Malika's son trying to figure out if he can take down a zebra.
  4. Mara, Feb 2016
  5. Day 13 Wed 14 Oct Lake Awassa - Bale Mountains Today we were excited, it was the leg of our journey we had waited so long for. Heading towards the Bale Mountains to finally see the wolves. We were up again before first light in order to get ourselves organised before breakfast. There was a power cut mid wash and we had to wash by torch light. The sun was up by the time we came to pack our bags so we opened the door to let some extra light in. More or less packed, we headed across the gardens to the restaurant for breakfast. The Garden attracted plenty of Egyptian Geese and was really noisy. There were also lots of Marabou Storks sat in the tall trees. Breakfast was slow and service comical at times. There was no power so there was no fresh juice or coffee until the power was restored. Toast was delivered but no plates, I asked for plates and was bought one so I had to ask for a second one. We were serenaded by the clacking sound of storks bills watching us from the trees and we ate in fear of losing our breakfast to something swooping in from above. The guide and car arrived at 8am, we loaded our gear into the car, checked out, then set off on a mornings walk around the lake. I’d switched my lens for the 300mm F4 by now. We saw plenty of bird and human activity around the lake. Vultures scavenging around a discarded carcass Once we felt that we had walked far enough the car met us and we drove out to the Amora Gedel NP and Fish market. It wasn’t touristy at all. Most of the fishermen wore UK soccer shirts which amused me as there only seems to be around 4 teams in the UK according to the Ethiopians, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. At 10am we hit the road again anxious to start heading towards Bale . We stopped off at the Haile Hotel, Shashemene Hotel to order a packed lunch as apparently the eateries further on were not suitable for westerners. We each ordered a simple sandwich which seemed to take an age to make. While we waited Angela had spied an ice cream kiosk so we went and ordered ourselves one each. I asked the guide and driver if they wanted one but after some deliberation they declined as it was a fasting day and they can not eat dairy on these days. Back on the road again, by 12pm the guide and driver wanted to stop for lunch. We were eager to push on so they agreed to wait until the next town before we stopped, there was a ‘last resort’ option for their lunch. We reached the next town and the ‘last resort’ was closed. We found an alternative across the main street where the guide and driver ordered lunch. We ate our sandwiches at the same table. After lunch we pressed on for Bale and hit the 1st gate, Gaysay Grasslands, at around 2pm. There was plenty to see on the approach road, Olive Baboons, Mountain Nyala, Warthogs and Bushbuck. I didn’t take too many pictures as we were going inside the park and not just passing through. Sign at the main gate We were then handed over to a local guide and driven a few Km into the park for the start of a walk back to the gatehouse. It was a great walk with plenty of opportunities to get up close to the wildlife. View from the hillside Bushbuck General scenery, some wonderful trees in this area There was plenty of mountain Nyala Reedbuck Warthogs More Nyala Splendid Bull Some Flora One of the disadvantages of only having a 300mm lens to hand. We were back on the road by 4pm but the light was already failing and the clouds closing in. It took another hour possibly more to get to the final gate that would take us up onto the Saneti Plateau. It didn’t take long to spot our 1st wolf foraging not too far from the road. The light was very poor, hindered further by the descending mist. I got a few shots from the car then ventured out into the bitterly cold wind and walked up the road to get closer (I would definitely be wearing more layers tomorrow). It really was starting to get dark by now and beyond the limit of my camera’s low light capabilities. We watched the wolf for a little longer then it was time to move on. The light was all but gone by now and the mist was getting heavier. The pass on the far side of the plateau that descends down into the Harena forest is a treacherous winding narrow road. I would not want to drive it during the day but we were in the dark and had very little visibility as we continued down and towards Bale Mountain Lodge (BML). The journey was made even more treacherous by the occasional lorry trying to overtake us as we slowly groped our way along. We made BML by 6:45, dinner was at 7:30 so we were offered a welcome drink opted for a G&T which was brought to the room while we made ourselves comfortable and got cleaned up ready for dinner. Room at BML We were the only guests tonight and we were given a table in a snug next to the blazing fire. Dinner was by far the best meal we had had in Ethiopia so far and was accompanied by plenty of local wine. We are really looking forward to the next few days here.
  6. Day 12 Tue 13 Oct Bahir Dar - Addis - Lake Awassa An early start again for our final internal flight back to Addis. We were up before sunrise and here are a few shots of the sun coming up through the mists on Lake Tana as we made our way to breakfast. Taken with my little P&S camera. The stillness of the lake after breakfast Front of the ‘Dungeon’ Apt security for a dungeon, the door lock! Our flight to Addis was early, baggage reclaim simple and our final ‘Naturalist’ guide was waiting for us outside at the domestic terminal exit with a sign with our names on. It took us sometime to get out of Addis as the traffic was overwhelming. Eventually we did, got to the new toll roads and managed to make good progress on the freeway towards Lake Awassa. We stopped for a late lunch at a place called ‘Dreamland’ next to a small crater Bishoftu Lake. It had nothing to do with the Margate theme park of the same name or MIchael Jackson’s ranch. Lunch was good, a nice Burger and chips and a cold beer. Then it was back on the road to continue our drive to Awassa. We stopped to stretch our legs at a lake called which I now know is called Ziway. If I had been aware of the stop and what to expect I may have chosen a different camera and/or lens. Fortunately I had the all rounder, lazy, tourist lens 18-300mm on the Nikon in my hand so nothing but a spot of quality was lost. We got out the car at the start of a bumpy dusty road. To the right there was a dirty looking pasture with a few grazing goats and sheep and a huge flock of pelicans and storks. A boy on a wooden cart was feeding the birds discarded fish heads from today’s catch. The birds were going mad. The cart was moved and we followed it down towards the lake/pond Angela was trying to sort here binoculars out and was lagging behind. I turned around to see where she was and if I had been quicker I would have grabbed a good shot of this creature just clearing her head as it cumbersomely left the ground. Some more shots of the birds on the water’s edge. According to Philip Briggs Ethiopia guidebook Ziway is a birders paradise. You can tick off a long list of birds in a couple of hours. Unfortunately we only had something like 20-30 minutes to take in the scene. Names I wrote down in my note book were forest kingfisher, pygmy kingfisher, flamingo, jakana, hammerkopf and herons. I got few reasonable shots of what we saw If you carry on walking to meet the the shores of Lake Ziway you encounter this bizarre fenced off area, I have no idea why but we didn't venture any further. One last Marabou stork shot. Then we were back on the road again and conversation with the ‘Naturalist’ guide started to reveal that he was more of a birding guide than a Naturalist guide. Conversation kept swinging towards what birds we would see at certain lakes and other areas. Our stock response was always ‘We are not birders!’. Somewhere along the way we came across a Black Fronted Snake Eagle sat on a tree at the side of the road. We stopped and I back tracked with the guide for a better look. Angela whispered, ‘don’t encourage him’ to me as I got out the car. Black Fronted Snake Eagle using the full 300mm of my 18-300mm super zoom. On the way back to the car some farm workers came down the track behind the fence on the other side of the road and gave us a wave. A shelter on the side of the road We had originally opted to stay overnight at the Haile Hawassa Resort tonight but there was no room at the inn and our agent had booked us in at the United African Hotel on the edge of Lake Awassa which they use on a regular basis. It was getting dark as we arrived, the room was poorly lit and a little cramped. At least we had a mosquito net. The plumbing was a disaster and we had more suspect electrics to contend with, this is the power to the hot water boiler in the shower. At least we were only here for the night. We hadn’t had time to really get orientated when we arrived and we fumbled our way over to the bar and restaurant across the unlit gardens. It was the only lit building in the complex so it wasn’t difficult to find. We were the only guests. Dinner was a disaster, zero service and some pretty ropey chicken and rice, so we had a couple of beers and took an early night.
  7. Day 11 Mon 12 Oct Bahir Dar pt 2 On our return we decided to have lunch out so we went to a local’s lakeside restaurant, ‘Desset Lodge’, in a beautiful location along the shore not too far from where we were staying. Again food was good even if we were a little conservative by having pizza. Back at the hotel we had an ice cream with the guide (still number 2) before we set off for the Donkey Sanctuary Amhara headquarters, about 5 minutes from the hotel, to meet the local vet, Dr Twedros, and hear about what they are doing in Ethiopia. The Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia is nothing like the sanctuaries we have in England where old Donkeys and mules are left to graze in pastures and cared for until their final days. They are funded by the same organisation but the mission is to transform the quality of life for the animals by educating their owners and providing better veterinary care. We were given a brief talk as Dr Twedros went through the various apparatus on display in the small room in their office block. The charity visit communities show them how to make things that would give the donkeys and mules a better quality of life. Things like better fitting harnesses out of more suitable materials. They train people in the village how to do this and help them set up businesses. They also teach the owners about road safety and how best to make themselves their donkeys and their carts more visible to traffic, especially at night. They also teach them about seeking out professional veterinary care instead of using old primitive DIY methods that generally make the animals sicker. This education isn’t always direct it typically comes through the children who are taught about better animal care at participating schools. After our talk we then drove out to an outlying village to visit a vet first hand and a school where they were educating the children to respect the working animals. There were no children around as it was way past school hours by now. School’s chemistry block Murals around the school painted by the children School buildings Then we took a walk across the road to find the vet and his clinic Clinic Model Donkey Shelter Back outside the school Angela and Dr Twedros We got back to the hotel later than I would have liked so I missed the opportunity to photograph the Ibis as the came in to roost at sunset. Dinner was as good as the night before, very attentive service
  8. Day 11 Mon 12 Oct Bahir Dar pt 1 A late start today with ample time for some sleep and an enjoyable breakfast. Morning on Lake Tana and the birdlife around Kuriftu Resort Cormorant on the tree to the left of the terrace, the Ibis had already flown earlier in the morning We were met at the resort's Jetty at 9am for a cruise around the lake and a visit to a couple of monasteries which I thought were out on the islands. It turned out that they were both on the Zege peninsular. On the way out across the lake we encountered a fisherman on a traditional reed boat. He was keen to show us his catch and twice as keen to ask for a tip for the photographs I was taking. Boat transporting firewood The monasteries were more of the same as what we had seen in Lalibela and Gonder. The 1st site, Ura Kidane Mihret, was a long trek up a muddy path lined with tourist stalls. The religious artwork was very similar to what we had seen elsewhere. In hindsight I think we would have been far better off with a simple cruise around the lake and spending a bit more time lying by the pool. But we were here to take in some of the country's cultural sights and that’s what we did. Doorway detail Some of the imagery gets a little lost in translation and some is just extreme It was still an active church The first monastery also had a museum which held even more aartefactsand artworks Elaborate cross of the region, the eggs are Ostrich eggs Pilgrims outside Monks quarters People at the Jetty as we left The second Monastery, Bet Maryam, was on the same peninsular and about 2km if you walked, it was easier to reach by boat. The setup was the same, a muddy path through the forest lined with stalls with people trying to sell the same sort of touristy tat. As the monastery was smaller it was far quieter. Prayer drums Artwork We asked our guide why this guy riding a chicken, apparently it’s an eagle or lammergeier Prayer sticks The Reading Room! Second tour complete it was now time for a casual cruise back to the hotel via the mouth of the Blue Nile. We were lucky and spotted one of the very shy hippos. It wasn't worth getting a shot, glimpses were fleeting and the distance too far to get anything worth keeping. Traditional reed boats being made Kids having fun Locals bathing and doing laundry just outside the resort Resort Jetty
  9. Day 10 Sun 11 Oct Gonder - Bahir Dar Another early start for our drive to Bahir Dar, the plan being to reach Kuriftu Resort on the edge of lake Tana before lunch time. We were accompanied by guide number two and a fresh driver with a white mini van, somewhat of overkill for a driver and three passengers. Gonder at sunrise Leaving Gonder on a Sunday had it’s distractions. I had to ask the driver to stop and jog back down the road to get these shots of these women waiting for the church to open. The drive was another interesting trip plenty of curvy mountainous roads to start that eventually turned into one long straight road. We stopped about mid way at a place known as God’s tomb for a comfort break and a photo opportunity where we attracted the attention of some local boys tending to their cows, goats and sheep as they came around the bend in the road. The road was quite busy with lorries and buses whizzing past. We were taken by surprise by a group of cyclists racing around the bend. We even saw one cheat hanging onto the back of a truck as he went by (another missed photo opportunity) We arrived at Kuriftu earlier than planned, our room wasn’t ready so we had a beer outside the restaurant at the side of the lake and an ice cream. Our room was huge, we had booked a suite as it was the only thing available at the time of booking. It was on the ground floor and had glass along all sides as a consequence and to maintain privacy trees and bushes had been grown outside and inside the curtains were kept closed. Giving the room the allure of a dark dungeon. There was a reception area with a bar and two very uncomfortable chairs, a bedroom with a four poster and a bathroom with questionable plumbing and electrics. This is the most luxurious resort in the area and the place we had chosen for a couple of days R&R mid trip. Bar area inside the ‘dungeon’ Questionable plumbing and electrics, loose light bulb next to the shower head The lunch menu was very good and the food excellent. Lots of local options with Pita bread offered as an alternative to injera. It rained after lunch fortunately we had booked in for our complimentary spa treatment when we arrived so the afternoon was not lost. It stopped raining by the time we were through with our massages. We took complimentary pre-dinner cocktails on the terrace overlooking the lake where we were encouraged to make conversation with the hosting team that could not speak English and just nodded with agreement with anything we said or asked. I was trying to find out what the hugh flock of birds were that came in to roost on the tree just to the left of the terrace and outside of our room. Our host had us convinced that they were endemic to the area, guide number two told me in the morning they were just your standard sacred ibis. We were eaten alive by the midges during our drinks. As it was the weekend and this was the place that the locals go the restaurant was busy. The food was excellent and accompanied by another bottle of tasty local wine.
  10. Day 9 Sat 10 Oct pm Gonder Post lunch we headed out on our afternoon tour of Gonder with guide number 2. Outside the castle gates Then the castles, Fasil Ghebbi (or Royal Enclosure). The Entrance Main Castle Somewhere between the tour of the inside of the main castle and our tour of the grounds it began to rain. It got so bad that we found ourselves taking shelter under the arches of some of the roofless buildings. Some of the other castles and buildings After the rain some of the steps were a little dangerous At least the flowers looked fresh Here’s the steam room (sauna) Clothes pegs made of cow horns embedded into the wall outside the steam room Castles done it was then off to Fasilida’s Pool. An interesting 2 storey building surrounded by a pool that is filled once a year and pilgrims are bathed in during the Timkat or Epiphany Festival. The fig trees on the surrounding walls reminded me of Angkor Wat Finally Debre Birhan Selassie a rather splendid church with a congregation in full flow. The church is famous for the numerous cherub portraits on the ceiling Church grounds Then it was back to the hotel and goodbye to our driver before a quick sundowner Gonder from the Goha hotel We got cleaned up and had a decent a la carte meal with a bottle of local wine in the busy hotel restaurant. Gonder was far warmer that the Siemens and the room was an oven. We chose to open the window which meant the mosquitoes could get in (no Malaria in this part of the world just nasty bites). The other downside of this option was the noise, we had chosen to stay on some obscure holy day or other where a nearby church was holding an all night chanting session. Not the best night's sleep was had.
  11. Day 9 Sat 10 Oct Simien Mountains to Gonder pt 1 Time to leave the Simiens, we had not seen a single wolf, which was pretty much what we had expected. They are extremely rare here. We were treated to a tiny lyin today before breakfast, packing and beginning our return journey to Gonder. It being Saturday meant that there was a lot of traffic on the road, not bumper to bumper motor vehicles but pedestrians, mules, donkey carts and local gentlemen dressed in their refinery on the back s of fine looking horses. It was market day and everyone was heading our way towards Debark. We reached a very busy and crowded Debark ‘high street’ and were offered the option of a walk around the market. The car was crowded by locals trying to get a look at us tourists but we managed to slip out unhindered and ventured off for a whirlwind 15 minute tour of the Saturday market. What we didn’t realise was that our SMNP scout had to accompany us which meant that we not only stuck out like saw thumbs as tourists but we had a local following us around with an AK47 rifle. High Street A few pictures around the market Woman selling Tef Recycling tyres After the market we had to go to the park HQ, say goodbye to the SMNP scout and sign out of the park proper. During our brief meeting with Guide No 2 and being handed over to Getch in Gonder at the 4 Sisters restaurant the topic of Felasha had come up again. I’m not sure if this had been relayed from guide to guide via our agent or whether we had instigated it. Getch had shown an interest in showing us the village and promised to take us on our return to Gonder. We had almost reached Gonder and were starting to think this stop off had been forgotten when we stopped at the side of the main road at a tourist trinket stop that proclaimed to be the Felasha village, Wolleka. There was an interesting sign suggesting that we buy something and we would not be hassled by children trying to sell us things on our tour of the village. Being gullible tourists we spent a few $ on a clay King Solomon and were dutifully followed by a gang of kids that would not stop presenting us with things to buy. I think was one of the most unpleasant experience of our entire journey. The village was non existent and the synagogue was in very poor repair. I imagine anyone making a homage or pilgrimage to this site would be bitterly disappointed. We made our way back to the car and about 15 minutes later we reached our overnight resting place the Goha Hotel. A government run hotel, reportedly the best stay in Gonder, that rests on a high vantage point on the edge of town. We said goodbye to Getch but kept the driver for the afternoon excursion. The hotel room was very clean and functional if a little cramped. The bathroom was a galley with a toilet at one end and a sturdy functioning shower at the other. Me and the understated Goha Hotel sign We had a very good lunch in the restaurant with a decent piece of cake to finish
  12. Day 8 Fri 9 Oct Simien Mountains pt 2 After lunch we decided to drive on a little further to continue looking for the Walia Ibex as there had been no sightings that morning. We travelled perhaps a mile or so up the hill when a herd came out of the bushes on one side of the road and crossed on a bend. Angela and I got out of the car and walked along the road towards them, they were settling on a dusty pocket of land. A lorry/bus full of locals passed us and I was worried that the ibex may run off luckily they stayed put and we were able to get closer and watch the youngsters frolic and practice their rutting skills. The male was a handsome fellow indeed with a fine set of horns. Then they just got up and went back into the bush the way they had come. Back down the hillside and just past the campsite we had another surprise a reedbuck was winding it’s way around the outermost huts. Quite rare for this region apparently and very skittish. The journey back was as picturesque as the journey out. It’s hard to believe that these red hot pokers we grow back home grow almost like weeds on the side of the road. As we can around a bend and down a slope we came across a large group of Gelada moving across a small hill and meadow. A few cars had already stopped and we followed suite, traversing a large ditch to get onto the hill and in front of the ‘herd’ as they came down the hill. A couple of wide angle shots taken as we climbed the hill It was similar to being parked in the middle of a migrating herd of antelope. I just sat as I had the previous day in the grass and took in the action and photographed as it happened. We had youngsters playing hide n seek around the bushes, babies hitching a ride with their mothers, adults grazing and a few batchelor boys trying their luck with taking over leadership of the group. A challenge for leadership No idea who these guys were filming for We were back at the lodge early enough to get cleaned up and enjoy a few beers before dinner again. This evening the lodge were showing Chadden Hunter’s insightful documentary about the Gelada, it would have been lovely to have seen this before we had met the apes. Another superb buffet dinner and then off to bed.
  13. Day 8 Fri 9 Oct Simien Mountains Another early start today, 8:30, with a drive across the mountains to Chenneh to look for Wolves and Ibex. The first planned stop was a walk to see a waterfall, Jinbar, but before we got that far we spotted a small group of Gelada on the side of the road where a couple of other cars had already stopped. The small strip of land between the road and cliff edge made them very easy to photograph (no idea who the photographer on teh left is) I loved this little guy’s antics Another 5 minutes along the road we got out of the car again and began our walk to the water fall. Across a meadow Down a steep hillside and across a stream Up the other side and over a precarious stack of rocks, that I crawled over. It was about 1000 feet straight down on the left and not much better to the right. I went over on my hands and knees. The reward was this view from a tiny strip of rock and grass, sadly the sun was right in front of us making photography very difficult. There were plenty of birds taking advantage of the thermals And a few Gelada below us on the rock face Then it was back over the rocks the way we came, (view looking down from the safer side of the crossing). And then back down the valley and back up the other side of the hill Looking back at where we had come from, it was now getting busy with the people we had passed on our return journey We got back to the car and continued our drive to Chenneh. The scenery was spectacular with red hot pokers lining the road, giant lobelia, great valleys and draw dropping cliff faces. We had a wander around the campsite, checked out a few mole rat holes but no sign of any wolves or Ibex. Campsite to the right in this picture, you can just see the roofs of some of the huts We saw a juvenile bearded vulture (lammergeier) circling in the thermals, no pic, and an alpine chat hopping around the foot paths. No ibex in the valley below Another flower I do not have the name of Lunch was taken once again on a bench precariously placed a couple of feet away from a very steep vertical drop. The view was stunning. We were joined for lunch by a thick billed raven, Getch had pre warned us that these birds are habituated and will steal any unguarded food so we had to be very careful with our packed lunch! Picnic spot was approx to the left of centre of this picture. Thick Billed Raven takes a bow Picnic Bench View
  14. @@pault Thanks for your kind words. I don't think your vertigo would be too much of a problem, just talk to your guides and they will take you on easier routes. There are gravel roads that cut through the region. You might want to give the waterfall that I'll detail in my next installment a miss tho'. Regarding the photography, I think most people in the tourist areas are use to it. If they don't want their picture taken they will let you know (hand on face, pull a weird face or just shout no). There are also those who will hassle you for a tip after a shot. I hear the Omo valley is becoming notorious for tipping. @@SafariChick @@optig we were planning on using Limalmo but at the time of travel it still was not open so had to opt for the only option. @@optig we did see Ibex and a Juvenile lammergeier, they will be in my next installment (no pics of the lammergeier). Also worth an additional mention is our Guide Getch. We were not his usual clients he usually leads adventure tours rafting in the valley or walking between Lalibela and the mountains. He told of us about his mountain biking groups too. He doesn't ride but runs in front of the bikes. Here's a film he was involved in, he's the guy on the right in the blue top. https://www.pinkbike.com/news/ethiopias-simien-mountains-giro-2015.html
  15. Day 7 Thu 8 Oct Simien Mountains pt 2 It turned out that we were fairly close to the road and our car came and picked us up and drove us a short distance to our lunch spot, which was another short hike along a hillside. The views should have been spectacular but we fell victim to some heavy cloud cover. Similar bench to our picnic bench, taken from our picnic spot View from our bench, balanced precariously on the edge of the cliff Getch and a bit of a view Signs like this can be found all over the Simiens After lunch we walked back to the road to meet the car and then took another short drive to Campsite 1 where we took another short stroll to take in another stunning view. Angela at campsite 1 with the scales that are used to prevent pack mules and donkeys being overloaded when transporting camping gear, supplies and luggage from camp to camp. Then it was time to head back to the lodge for some well deserved rest. On the drive back I spotted three klipspringers that managed to slide into the bushes before I got a decent shot of a couple of them There was a large troop of Gelada just outside the lodge and we spotted a small group of bachelors behind our room that were easy to get close to through the long grass Our room/cottage/hut, we had the last one in the row Sunset A few well deserved beers before dinner The restaurant was heaving with groups from France, Holland and Germany. Dinner was another good quality buffet. After dinner it was time to hit the sack, a heavy fog had descended upon us which made the path back to the room a little difficult to negotiate. It did however keep us concealed and we spotted a common jackal sniffing around the huts by the shadow cast by the lights on the path.

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