107km – cow camp to Gondor
Just when I thought I was better and off antibiotics, the tummy trouble returned. Between that and the all night dance party in the cow pasture behind our tents (complete with tooting car horn), I didn’t get much sleep. But, I was excited about the day of riding in the hills, so I put on the bike gear, received my morning inspirational hugs (there are a core group of good morning hug people) and song for the day (well, only the chorus that goes Alleluia, Alleluia). The morning ride was breathtaking, rolling hills to a good ascent (1200m to 2400)m to a mountain plateau village.
I have a theory that mountain if the population a town is less than the elevation, than it is probably a good town. Mountain towns of Ethiopia are no different – the energy of the people is just different, in a hearty wholesome sort of way. Whereas the children in the valley tried to steal things from our packets and bags as we slowly made our way up, the kids on the plateau shied away from the camera and only smiled as they collected water on the side of the road. As if the scenery wasn’t enough on the ascent, the amazing descent into the valley made the long climb worthwhile. But, when I got to lunch, every ounce of energy was out of me. I went horizontal and pseudo slept for the next two hours. The bus ride into Gondor was spent with my eyes closed and letting the wind blow me steady to the Goha Hotel.
Our campsite is cool and breezy under pine and eucalyptus trees. The bird and insect life is so diverse and musically noisy and oh – look at the flowers (yes, grandma, I said that)! I enjoyed lime water and the fasting (aka, vegetarian) Ethiopian platter on the terrace before a much needed night’s rest.