An African Adventure

February 19


Lake Shala

Children gathered after we blew the first tire


Ethiopian Sunset

Today we traveled south about 100 miles to Abiata-Shala National Park to see the flamingos on Lake Shala. It was going to be about four hours driving one way. 


The temperature was also going to get much warmer (Addis was about 50 to mid 70s mostly due to the altitude of 7500 feet), because we were driving into the riff valley and dropping about 6000 feet.  The drive was on their main highway which was only a two-lane road, but well maintained.


We first stopped at a beautiful crater lake near Debre Zeit and had coffee and tea. The countryside was mostly flat farm fields with cattle and goats roaming around. Rarely did I see any type of fencing, so animals crossed the road freely all the time.


About three hours into the trip is when it started to get interesting. We heard a loud “pop” pulled over and discovered that the driver’s side front tire had blown.


While changing the tire, we discovered that the tire jack did not work. We now had to flag down a passing truck and borrow their jack. A large number of children also discovered us and sat down and watched.  I entertained them by taking their picture and showing them on my camera. They loved it.


We got moving again and several hours later we arrived at our destination of Abiata-Shala National Park. Getting to the lake required about 45 minutes of hard off road driving, but we finally reached the lake. The view was fantastic!  The flamingos were an awesome sight!


On the return trip we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.


After watching the sunset we settled in for the long drive back to Addis, when we heard another loud “pop”.  Pulling over again, we found another blown tire! 


So here we were: second blown tire, 100 miles from Addis, deep in the Ethiopian countryside and its getting dark. Luckily, we had gotten the first tire fixed at the next small town after blowing it, so we had a tire, but no tire jack.


So again, we had to flag down a passing motorist and ask to borrow their jack. The rest of the ride was uneventful, but I arrived back at my hotel room after 11pm, very tired.


Read more: 


5/06/2010The Ethiopian Project
2/20/2010The Last Day
2/19/2010An African Adventure
2/18/2010Teaching Ethiopian Nurse/Medics Day 2
2/17/2010Teaching Ethiopian Nurse/Medics Day 1
2/16/2010The many challenges of working in an Ethiopian ER
2/15/2010Talking about Emergency Medicine
2/14/2010Arrived safe and sound
2/14/2010Exploring the city and countryside
2/12/2010Heading out








Date Published: 02/19/2010

News tag(s):  ethiopianemsblog

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