Day 30, rest day, Goha Hotel, Gondar
The Goha Hotel is on the top a hill overlooking Gondar. The city is spread out in a series of connected valleys beneath. It is a large town with a famous citadel and a number of monasteries. Rest days have begun to take on a common character: look for internet access, eat as much as you can, clean and attend to your bike, see the sights if you have time. Between meals I spent most of the day begging and borrowing computers so that I could connect to the outside world –at least minimally – and update my blog. I borrowed Stig’s computer to do my writing and then Tessa’s to get online and upload stuff. Thanks guys. Several people surfed the web in search of solutions to my dead Mac book. We tried several things but nothing worked. It remained resolutely dead. No resurrection on the third day. I will have to wait until Dar to see if I can find a way to get it fixed.
In the evening about ten of us went into town to a local restaurant that Alex B had discovered. It looked like a large bamboo hut – by large I mean about 40 x 80 feet. When we got there about 6pm it was heaving. When we went inside we found out why. A wedding was taking place. Alex, not willing to give up, went to find the manager to see what was possible. What was possible was some tables and chairs in the parking lot. It was great, a candle-lit Ethiopian feast in a parking lot with a wedding in the background. The music was hypnotic, like 5th century church music that brought you into a kind of collective trance. And of course it drew us into the bamboo hut. While a ceremony took place on a dais at the far end everybody else was on the dirt floor facing the ceremony swaying back and forth to the music. There was no light but the waxed tapers held aloft in people’s hands. As the ceremony reached its climax the swaying turned to celebratory dancing, that curious Ethiopian shoulder dancing. By this time most of us had been dragged by the wedding guests into the thick of it.
Back in the parking lot we ate a typical Ethiopian meal with injera and various dishes made of lamb and chick peas.