You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 30, 2010.

We stayed at the Terara hotel for the first two nights in Gonder. According to our guide book ,  it was one of the ‘finest hotels in Gonder in the imperial era’ . It is now in need of a lick of paint. It still has some charm and we camped in the pretty gardens.

In need of a room yesterday, we booked in at the state run Goha hotel. A really nice government run hotel, perched high above the town, it is a really good spot to get a view of the surrounding mountains and the large eagles circling above. Wow, a bath and a TV. Pure luxury since all our adventures in Sudan and our first proper hotel since Christmas.

The state run Ethionet is the slowest of the trip so far, and has improved very little from when I was here in 2004. No sign of wi-fi here,

I got the phone sim card sorted. Like the internet, mobile phone use is restricted to one company and has to applied for at the Post Office. A few passport photos and some form filling and I was up and running.

One of the ‘must sees’ in Gonder is Debre Birhan Selassie church on the outskirts of town. The ceiling is decorated with 80 cherub faces, all dating from the 18th century.

Were heading to Gogora for the weekend. 60 km south of Gonder. It is a little visited town beside Lake Tana.

Bun got to sample some Ethiopian food for the first time. We went to Habesha Kitfo restaurant for lunch. The shiro tegabano ( Sounds Japanese to me, but is a thick paste made from beans that is served with injera. It’s unlike anything we’ve had on the trip so far).

A general round-up of Ethiopian national food: Injera (staple source of carbohydrates. A large pancake-shaped bread made from tef, a nutty grain that is unique to Ethiopia (it becomes the plate for all other food to be served on). Wat (a red sauce that is very hot, made from peppers (beriberi). Most wat is made from meat in the highlands. The national dish is called Doro wat, made from chicken. Otherwise it is either lamb (bege)goat (figel), or beef (bure). In towns near lakes it comes as fish (asa).

vegetarian wats are mainly served on Wednesday’s and Friday’s, the Orthodox fasting days. They come as pureed beans (shiro wat), halved beans (kik wat) and lentils (misr wat). Atkilt bayinetu consists of dollops of various vegetarian wats as well as with spinach (gomon), beetroot (kai iser) and vegetable stew (atkilt alicha).

January 2010