Roadtrip Day 18: Driving around Lake Tana to Bahir Dar

Sunday 21st January, 2018

Today’s trip 182 km, 2 hours 45 mins

We wake up with the sounds of a rural village waking up. We go for a lovely stroll through the fields, past the vegetable plots, and the local water well. The children are already out getting their containers of water filled for the day. We feel like we are walking through a World Vision advert.

Girls carrying water back to the village

The fields are fertile and green, and there are some big Warka trees next to the small creek. We walk al the way to the Kola Diba dam, the location of the original village which was moved when the area was flooded.

Lovely large Warka tree

We return for breakfast, and a final coffee in the village. The extended family has been so hospitable, it is really hard to say goodbye! And it is great to see 85 year old Asmara, patriarch of the family, on his horse.

We see more monkeys on the mountainous stretch as we drive along the eastern shores of Lake Tana. A quick stop is called for at the Worshela mountains.

And naturally, sitting on the shores of the big lake there is lots of flat land with rice paddies, rivalling views of those in large parts of Asia, and other crops of fruit and vegetables. It feels like every house has its own little roadside stall where they sell their excess fruit and vegetables. Nobody is going hungry here!

Rice Fields
Small produce stalls

We arrive in Bahir Dar just after 2 pm, seeing our first traffic light and experiencing our first elevator in 16 (!) days. We are getting closer to Addis now.

We are staying in the Grand Hotel, which is, grandly, situated on the southern shores of Lake Tana. Although very grand, with an impressive lobby and large rooms, it takes a while before our rooms are fully furbished with towels and pillow cases. But, there is plenty of hot running water and the views are impressive.

Interesting to note is that our eight floor room has large, ground to ceiling, sliding window, with no guard rails or screens. Opening the window confronts you with an eight floor drop.

Lake Tana view from the 8th floor

The bar in the lobby has an impressive looking whiskey wall. However, keen eyes will spot that not all that is labelled whiskey is actually whiskey. It looks like a large collection of confiscated Araki bottles.

The lobby bar appears to be furnished in an “early brothel” style, with oversized Queen Ann overstuffed arm chairs, lots of gold paint, marble and velvet.

We have dinner at the nearby Sheraton Blue Nile Resort beer garden (food is ok, but the rooms are small and overpriced!), and walk back along the lake before turning in for the night.

Travel Details and Tips:

Accomodation: Grand Hotel, Bahir Dar

Tip: Some hotels do not allow you to bring in alcohol from outside. The Grand hotel is one of them. The bottle will be confiscated as all your luggage goes through an Xray machine upon entering the hotel……. unless you have a car outside where you can store it!

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