Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Kidnapped by a Tuk-tuk driver in beautiful Bahir Dar

On our first afternoon we caught a tuktuk into the town centre to see if we could organize our travel to Gondar; having learned from experience that sooner than later is the best policy in Ethiopia.  He was a friendly chappie, our tuk-tuk driver, chatting away unintelligibly, but we were cool about it as it added to the atmosphere of being squashed into the back of his little vehicle.

“Just here please!” we said when we arrived into what we recognized as the kind of town centre.  Jabber-Jabber ignored us and carried on jabbering.  On we went, up this road and down this road, being thrown around all over the place as he took his corners tight.  At one point another tuk-tuk or van (we never found out which) hit us up the arse as we didn’t accelerate as expectedly.  It was like we were being kidnapped! We were taken on a tour of the town without checking with us first and then ignored all requests to stop in the town.  

By this time (after 20 minutes) it was pelting down and we had seen enough roads built by the Chinese for a lifetime.  Finally he stopped and then wanted 50Birr.  I gave him 10 and he argued like billyo.  This is all so exhausting, arguing over money at every point we look.   We walked around and found Hotel Papyrus. We had steak and chips with a dollop of no-harassment and it was great.

Inside view of the outside view from a Tuk-Tuk - stationery
Inside view of the outside view from a Tuk-Tuk – moving
Pimp my Tuk-Tuk
Inside view of the inside view of a Tuk-Tuk
There were signs up everywhere in town “Congratulations!” It was University graduation weekend and there were lots of people walking around in full graduation gowns or suits, carrying bunches of flowers.  Many people and their families had come for the weekend and it there was a very festive atmosphere.

Went back to hotel and told the reception guy about the trips we wanted to do and also asked how we could get to Gondar.  He sorted it.  For a mere 1500ETB we could all go to on boat trip across Lake Tana and visit the island monasteries and then in the afternoon go to the Blue Nile falls.  The next day we could get a minibus to Gondar – he would phone and they would come and pick us up at the hotel.  Sorted and happy we went to bed looking forward to our trips the next day.

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