Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Day Trip from Addis Ababa: Debre Libanos

I only got a small glimpse of Ethiopia outside of Addis Ababa and it was certainly beautiful. We took a day trip out to Debre Libanos which is about a two hour drive out of the city depending on traffic and stops.

On the way we stopped at a local village's Saturday market where people walk from surrounding areas to sell their produce or goods here once a week. It was quite overwhelming because we were the only foreigners there and people began crowding a bit to just look at us.

Saturday Market
We reached the monastery slightly past noon and they took us around for a tour. Dress code is strict here and women in sleeveless tops or tight pants had scarves wrapped around them to cover up skin. Inside the monastery we all took our shoes off.

We were told that this is not the original building but one ordered by the emperor to be constructed when the original burnt down.


Interior of monastery
Our next stop was the Ethio-German lodge which overlooks the Jemma Valley Gorge. The river was completely dried up but the the valley was very deep and grand. We ate lunch overlooking the valley and as usual service was slow so remember to allow time for that. It took an hour before my simple vegetable and rice dish consisting of rice, potato cubes and carrots was ready. 

Ethio-German lodge
A short hike from the lodge brings you to the Portuguese Bridge. For 22 Birr, a local guide took us to the cliffs to see the Galada Baboons. The hike was rocky at times and we had to avoid the cacti on the sides.It was extremely hot as the sun was scorching but the view was worthwhile.

Welcome sign for the Portuguese Bridge

Portuguese Bridge

Jemma Valley Gorge
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