Ethiopian Adventure – Behind the Scenes

Originally when I returned home from Africa I thought I would have one or two blog posts, well I could not have been more wrong and I’m sorry I didn’t get this post out sooner. One of the most valuable things my wife and I have ever gained from traveling around the world is the friends we have met.  When Colleen and I were in Africa in in 2006/2007 we found ourselves in Madagascar for about five weeks and while there we met these amazing people , Klaus and Claudia, who were also backpacking through the country and we shared some great adventures . We were so fortunate to meet these two as they were fun, laughed a lot and enjoyed a cold beer at the end of the day, we immediately liked them!  Since that trip we have been fortunate enough to visit them in their home country of Germany a couple of times and our children have met their little guy (soon to be rockstar).  It’s been a very special thing for us to watch and stay in touch with them as the years go by and while Klaus and I continue to age like old

It was on our last trip to Germany, when Colleen and I were backpacking through Eastern Europe with our two kids that we finished our trip In Germany and France and met some great friends of Klaus and Claudia. Who would have ever thought that when I asked Klaus if he was interested in coming to Africa on a last minute trip that he would say yes, and to my bigger surprise that two of those friends we met in Germany, Matthias and Armin would also want to come. It was fantastic news as travelling is meant to be shared with others.

I have so much to thank all of these guys. They didn’t just make perfect travel partners but they were such an important part of the planning. Working with Steven Olson from Ethioguzo we all managed to arrange a tour and a timeline that would work for everyone. Enjoy some of the images below and the captions included which describe what was happening.

The images are an assortment of all of our  combined shots and looking at them gives me goosebumps and already I can’t believe Ive been back for two months.  Life goes too fast so enjoy the special moments.  To my great friends Klaus, Armin and Matthias thank you so much for everything and I truly hope we can do this again!

Wow.  This picture still cracks me up.  After returning from the the other side of the Omo river Matthias took this shot of all of us.   To say that these people live under harsh conditions would be an understatement.  We only spent a few hours in the village and the river (which was only a few hours from where we were camped) but the winds and the heat and dust was unworldly.    You can see from the picture what it’s like and we look as though we were in a coal mine.  Fascinating area.

From Left to right:  Armin, Klaus, yours truly, and Matthias.

The morning we were leaving the Mursi Village we took this shot.  One of the most incredible experiences of my life!

The village of Turmi.   The road sign states closed but we drove past

Our cook and guard at the Mursi Village.     That night we encountered a huge thunderstorm and he still fought through it to make us dinner.

The first nights stay in the south.  Most rooms look like this, I slept on the left and Klaus snored on the right.haha

Klaus at the Dorze Village.  We stayed about 5 minutes walk from here and loved it.  I love the mom’s reaction to this picture on the left.

This was on our drive to Turmi.  I loved how we crossed rivers and drove through places that seemed like no vehicle should be able to cross.  This was before the rainy season as well.

This was our room in Konso.  It was awesome and a huge upgrade from the first place we looked at, Strawberry Fields.    Our first option was almost hilarious when we stopped in to check out as the first room opened up to a dead cockroach on the pillow, inside a mosquito net.  I want to clarify that I’m not above the place, but when a cockroach dies on your bed it’s worth looking around before settling.

The boys in front of our bungalows in Dorze.  What a view!

Pit stop for a coffee in Turmi after visiting the Hamer market.

In the Omorate getting a bit dirty on the job.

Suppertime in the Mursi village.   A fantastic meal, but I’m not sure why Armin is wearing his backpack

Yes, afternoon beers and maybe , just maybe Klaus has had too many at this point.haha

The Mursi village.  I love this picture and can’t thank you guys enough for it as it truly shows the village and the lifestyle.

On our three day trek in the Tigray mountains.  The problem with packing very light is that you look like a dork every day.

The lookout at the Dorze village.  Pretty amazing.

Another Matthias selfie!haha   This was from the viewpoint at our guesthouse which I think we all agree was one of the highlights of the trip.

Me, atop the mountains range in the Tigray mountains.

These little kiddos lived near the guesthouse and shared some fun moments with us while we enjoyed the view.

Don’t let me expression fool you, this was incredible food and we ate it every day, every day, every day.   I love Injera but I think I was dreaming of a burger at this

Armin and I enjoying a dreamy candlelit meal together.

Armin, Matthias and Klaus capturing the view.

Klaus in front of our guesthouse (to his right)

Loving the monkeys.   These little fellas slept near us in the Tigray.

The room in the guesthouse in the Tigray.  The best sleeps I had all trip, cool air atop the mountains and fresh air.  Perfect!

Matthias caught me in mid-flight.   I was wearing my jumping flip-flops obviously.

Early morning.   Same outfit ,

The trek through the Tigray mountains.

I really loved how the local people invited us in everywhere we went.  I found it very special and the fact that we were trekking in a very quiet part of Ethiopia we truly felt like welcome guests.

Armin was entering a manmade cave that was dug out of the mountain in order to access one of the rock hewn churches to the villages below.  Hand dug out, can you believe it?

My great and long time friend Klaus.  I’m so honoured to have traveled with you!

I made the guys stop here to see this place.  Colleen and I stayed here one day when we were stuck between little towns years ago.  It may not seem liek much but it’s a very special place that brings back tonnes of great memories.

I tried the Matthias selfie.

Klaus crossing the ridge at dusk.   WOW.  I still can’t believe we were able to sleep s close to such a perfect view.