From Rwanda, I went back to Kampala, Uganda again. I went to Jinja to do a whitewater rafting trip on the Nile for one day. There were long stretches of paddling through still water, but also some big and exciting/scary rapids. Two of the Grade 5 rapids involved drops over rock ledges. One of them was about 8-9 feet high, and our guide was thrown from the raft and we were stuck in the current at the bottom of the drop for a while. We were finally able to pull the guide back into the raft and paddle frantically to get out of there. My heart was definitely racing!
I flew from Uganda to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I arrived there around 10:00pm, and immediately decided to take a bus on the 3rd with a guy I’d met in Rwanda. We left for the bus station at 5:00am, and then had a day and a half trip – 12 hours on the bus the first day, then a stop in some small town for the night, and then 7-8 hours more on the bus the 2nd day. It was nice to see so much of the country, but I was very happy when we finally arrived in Bahar Dar!
Since then, I’ve been visiting lots of historical and religious sites in the highlands of Ethiopia (north of Addis Ababa). Near Barhar Dar, there’s a lake (Lake Tana) that has about 20 monasteries and churches on islands. I took a full-day boat trip to visit 5 of the churches. Most of them are from the 16th century, and they’re still used by priests, monks, and the local people today!
Yesterday, I took a bus (another 6-hour ride!) to Gonder, Ethiopia. Today, I’ve been walking around a ‘Royal Enclosure’ with several castles, palaces, and ruins of other buildings used by different emperors from the years of 1636-1730. I’ve also just spent some time wandering around the town and surrounding market and villages.
I think that’s enough for now. I’ll try to be in touch again from Ethiopia, but no promises.
I hope you’re all doing well.