Now that the working portion of the trip is complete we’re staying at Paradise Lodge for two nights. Paradise Lodge is located about 4 hours south of Butajira overlooking the Abaya and Chamo Lakes. The views from all the rooms are breathtaking.
The further we travel away from the capital the worse the roads get. We decided the trip to Paradise Lodge was like a four hour Indian Jones ride at Disneyland because it was just so bumpy and all over the place. Only the giant boulder at the end was missing.
I was very happy that I never get car sick, otherwise that could have been a miserable van ride.
We passed the time by playing games like Connections (where two people try to name the same thing) and the Alphabet Game (where you name celebrities that start with various letters) and just talking.
It was a nice change from typical team travel where everyone is glued to their iPhone or listening to their iPod. We continue to lack anything that plays music aside from our own voices.
One of the faculty members who came on the trip, Louie, said, “I’m glad student-athletes normally have technology when they travel.” I think that funny, sarcastic comment was the result of our singing.
Along the drive we passed a lot of banana plants, some monkeys and plenty of cattle on the road. I continue to be amazed by the size of the livestock here when compared to North America. It makes me wonder how modified and force-fed the animals in America really are.
Today we went on a boat trip and walking safari in Nech Sar National Park. I felt like it was straight out of National Geographic.
Two armed guards travelled with us. The walking safari was really more of a two hour hike with stunning scenery all around.
We got a chance to see many zebra (pronounced not zeebra but zed-bra here) and gazelle in their natural habitat. It was crazy!
I’ve been taking tons of pictures and think I will soon hit the 1000 mark. I can’t wait to show the pictures to family and friends.
After our hike we got back in our boat to find some crocodiles and hippos. Chloe’s favorite animals are hippos so she was ecstatic to see them in the wild. I couldn’t get over how big both of those animals were and how close we got to them.
Once back at the hotel it was time to pack up and enjoy our last night together before we begin the long trip back home at 5:00 tomorrow morning.
Limited Internet access prevented Stephanie from posting these blogs while she was in Ethiopia. The trip was completed in late June 2012.