June 25, 2024

6 November 2011 (aka 26 February 2004 In Ethiopia)

We slept like babies last night and didn’t get up at 6h00 as planned. It was overcast, so we could take photos any time of the day. After breakfast we walked over to the internet café to post the previous day’s post and hopefully some images. The connection was slower than ever. Rufus, I don’t know how you did it!! Google: “three farmers and a greek”.

Not getting anywhere with the internet the churches being closed for lunch time we decided to walk around town and have coffee somewhere. At 14h00 we headed for the last group of churches and explored without a guide. This was also a good experience as you do not know here you are allowed to go and where the tunnels lead. In one section you need to walk through a pitch dark tunnel (we didn’t have a flash light) and you don’t know how far it is or whether there are more than one way to go. We cheated a bit by following another group the first time through!

The view of one of the churches…

View of the church
A beautiful wall painting in one of the churches…

Beautiful wall painting

Beautiful church…

Francois at the third cluster of churches

Exploring alleys and into the tunnel…

Exploring the tunnel
Earlier, during breakfast, we were invited to a coffee ceremony at Afat’s (who works at the hotel) house. We arranged to be there at 17h00 and a young guy working at the hotel took us to Afat’s house in the village. It was rainy outside and the Sun was setting as we entered the small mud house. Inside it was beautifully decorated and a young girl brewed us coffee. There were also a small boy (aged seven) and two other women popped in for a coffee.

Coffee Ceremony House
The ceremony lasted around an hour and a half where she first boils the water on hot coals while grinding (or rather mashing) the roasted coffee beans. The first cup is strong, the second medium and the third soft (all with too much sugar!) But it was a great experience and I had some ginger biscuits to have with the second cup. Apparently they do this every Sunday and sometimes on other days as well.

Coffee Ceremony
The ladies didn’t speak or understand any English and everyone chatted away in their own languages. The small boy ate his injera and tibis halfway, before storing the rest in a woven container for later.

Little boy
A dog later joined the party, but was not allowed in. He is the house’s watch dog. When it started raining he lay on the ledge in the doorway. Not very comfortable, but dry.

Dog lying in doorway
When we were done it was already dark and the young guy from the hotel escorted us back. We felt much better today and are ready to get on the road early tomorrow morning towards Gondar (360 km away).