Lake Langano Pictures
All packed up for our drive to Lake Langano. From left: Alan, Naty, Grant, Jodie and Todd. Lauren and Katie are also visible through the window of the vehicle.
This was a typical street scene and we drove towards the outskirts of the capital.
The wrapped leaves is called 'chat. It is a mild (and legal) narcotic, widely used and most often chewed among friends while sitting and drinking tea, according to Naty. We didn't try any while there.
Todd took note of this sign since he will be looking for work after we get back from the trip.
An hour or so out of Addis Ababa, we stopped for a rest at Lake Hora in the town of Debre Zeyit. In tribal lore, the lake is supposed to have spiritual powers and former Emperor Haile Selasse came here often during his reign.
This lady was grinding coffee with a mortar and pestle.
And the coffee was good.
Going over the map after our stop at Lake Hora in Debre Zeyit.
After we left the suburbs of Addis, this is what much landscape was like on our drive to Langano.
This lady was selling water cans made from plastic antifreeze containers with a basket woven around them
Katie taking a nap in the back of the Land Cruiser.
The highway turn-off for our old camping grounds as well as the hotel for our current stay, the Bekele Mola.
The beach and lake at Langano were just as we remembered.
Lauren, Katie and Alan taking a dip.
Taking a break in front of one of the our cottages. We had two, each with three rooms.
The next morning Alan, Grant, Jodie, Todd and Naty got up early and drove to nearby lakes Abiata and Shalla. The Holdcroft family did some camping here as well.
Lake Shalla from bluff
The hot springs that flow into Lake Shalla.
Locals come to the hot springs because, like in other parts of the world, they are thought to have healing properties.
Grant and our guide at Shalla
We saw a lot of pack donkeys like these.
Alan at Shalla
Our guide with Grant, Naty and some local children at Shalla. We asked why they were not in school and learned that it was national holiday that day.
Near Lake Shalla we passed many houses like these and I asked Naty to pull over so I could take some pictures. They are wood-frame with mud packed between the slats. The house on the right had some additional protection against wild animals, the branches of a thorny bush all around the outside. The wild animal they were primarily concerned about was the hyena.
This is where they kept the livestock at night.
This lady was very nice to let us walk around her place and take pictures. We actually interrupted her milking a goat.
Back at the car, a crowd of young people gather around to see why the foreigners were there (and to ask for pens). Alan took some video of them and then showed them the clips, much to their amazement and delight.
Todd's father Lane Holdcroft said that the developing world could feed itself if every farmer had one hectare of land, two oxen and a plow. Seeing this made that easy to understand.
We walked out onto a sandy flat at shores of Lake Abiata to get closer to the pink flamingos (in the distance). Just after this picture was taken, the guide told us to stop, but we did not understand. Eventually, he communicated that we were standing on a mud layer perhaps 2 or 3 feet thick and there was water beneath that. He did not want us to fall through. And so Alan and Todd tested this by jumping up and down in place. Indeed, shaking could be felt 10 feet away.
At the shore of Lake Abiata looking back toward Naty and the Land Cruiser. We weren't sure where all those kids came from because the nearest house was a mile away.
Back at Langano there was a wedding at the hotel.
Lauren, Cheryl, Alan and Todd took a hike up the nearby cliffs to get some views of the beach and lake.
Langano from the cliffs
Todd and Alan on the way down after hiking the cliffs.
This cat near the hotel was convinced of our good intentions.
Relaxing by the lake after a swim.
Lauren, Katie and Cheryl rented horse several times at Lake Langano.
We are not sure how this goat got into that tree to feed on branches. Perhaps it was a giraffe in another life.