This is my last weekend before Christmas so I went with Carlos (the Spanish EU/AU exchange) and Kabael to Lake Ziway in the Rift Valley. It is about 160 km away and the road is a nightmare, so we left early. The road varies between 2 lanes and 3 lanes with ancient lorries and buses chugging along emitting black smoke. It is Ethiopia’s main route to Djiboiti and the sea. Then there are cars overtaking 4×4’s while goats, children and dogs walk down the side of the road and vendors try to sell honey, biscuits or anything. Every so often a cow or a herd of cows or goats decides apparently randomly to cross the road. Lorries and cars brake and swerve round them and the occasional pothole.
The road leaves Mojo and heads off south first reaching Koka reservoir/lake which provides most of Addis’s water supply. It was surprisingly full considering that since I arrived here there has been no rain and everything is parched. We stopped to take photos or termite hills and children seem to appear from nowhere. Another 50 kilometers and we reach the ancient Lake Ziway.
We reached the lakeside down a rough track and immediately noticed some large pelicans sitting in trees . The lakeside was full of pelicans, ducks and other water fowl. Herders were bringing down their cattle and donkeys to drink from the lake. Local fishermen had thrown dead fish back into the water probably attracting the pelicans. The outlook was beautiful and natural, with lilies and grasses growing on the banks. We were convinced to embark on a homemade rickety boat which was leaking to a small island. Here there was a panoramic view across the lake with mountains in the background. The lake is about 40 sq km and completely natural. There are hippos in the lake but they had moved onto another part where the water was shallower. You cannot swim here as there are all sorts or nasties you can get !
I needed a strong beer to face the drive back !