We just had a rest day in Bahir Dar. My guide book calls this the riviera of Ethiopia. The city has large palm lined streets along the lake. Lake Tana is larger than I expected. It is the headwaters of the Blue Nile. Biking into town, we crossed a bridge over the Blue Nile and saw hippos! Very exciting. There are supposed to be crocodiles too, but no luck seeing those. Bird watching is amazing. There are tons of species. I saw pelicans, horned bills, eagles, king fishers, ibises, parrots. I even saw an owl in Gondar. Irwin, a German bike rider, seems to be our bird expert, except he mostly knows the bird names in German.
We took a boat ride across the lake today to see some very old monasteries and to see the point where the Blue Nile flows out of the lake. They grow a lot of coffee around the lake. Those are coffee beans drying in one of the pictures. Coffee originally comes from Ethiopia! Some of us also took a stroll around the market in town. Walking through the hot pepper and spice section was rough. We slowly started coughing, then realized it was a reaction to the pepper in the air. Before we could get out of there, we were full on coughing and could barely breath.
Up next are 5 days straight of biking into Addis Ababa, the largest city in Ethiopia. The highlight if this section will be the steep descent then ascent of the Blue Nile gorge.