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Rest Days: Bahir Dar

The first day was very nice indeed; suitably restful. Accompanied Milan, Ingrid and Rachel on an early morning boat trip out on Lake Tana, bird watching and hippos being the primary objective. We were entirely successful on both counts. Fish eagles, ibis, Egyptian geese and some other species geese, jacana, pelicans, cormorants, and carmine bee eaters being notable. And of course a small pod(?) of hippos; two adults and three youngsters. Difficult to photograph hippos when they keep themselves mostly submerged, but it’s still a nice treat to see them being calm and just being hippos.

Later in the morning, Rachel and I wandered over to Wude Coffee and had all-time best macchiato. In the end, we stuck around for a late lunch, it being such a comfortable spot.

Obligatory nap in the afternoon, of course. Subsequently met with almost the whole group on a strange sort of rusting hulk of a boat(?) moored or more likely resting on the bottom at lake edge. Less than salubrious, the beers were cold, and the view lovely. There seemed to be a lot of laughter as well amongst us all!

Sunday morning, a small group of us had arranged over beers the previous night to ride the ~30 kilometres to the Blue Nile Waterfalls, a reported highlight of the Bahir Dar area. In the end, all were no-shows for one reason or another, so I set out by myself at about 07:30 on quiet city streets. The first bit was fine, good tarmac and minimal hassle from the kids and teens. At about 14 km however, my route went off onto a very rough stony path paralleling the river, and through what to me at least seemed a sketchy neighbourhood. After bouncing slowly along for a kilometre, decided to abandon this idea and turned around. Once back in Bahir Dar proper, I found the main avenues to be closed down by military and police, I believe in preparation for that days running of the Blue Nile Marathon. A somewhat convoluted way through alleys and side streets saw me back to the TDA base.

The morning still had time left for me to attend to some basic cleaning of the bike and it’s various pieces parts, particularly the drive train. Got that done, went off for some fresh fruit juice with 3 of the TDA crew. Continued on to a local ‘711’ to get snacks for tomorrow’s bus ride, finally a beer & sandwich for lunch. Back to hotel.

Within an hour unfortunately, definitely wasn’t feeling right. Sparing the details, dizziness, nausea and loose guts ensued in short order. Our medic is similarly down yesterday/today with the same affliction, but after consulting over the phone, started a course of antibiotics. Mara and Rob both looked in on me; after that, just a matter of trying to drink as much water with oral rehydration salts added and doze through the night. Felt immensely better by the morning, but nonetheless, I’ll be riding in the ‘sickie van’ tomorrow.

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Emma Campbell
Emma Campbell
Feb 17, 2020

Hope you feel better! sounds grim.

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