Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bahar Dir - Gonder, Ethiopia - Home of the Gonder Burger...

It really pisses me off when I ask for something so basic that each room should have, like a mosquito net, 3 times but nothing is done about it. I mean this is the fabled Ghion Hotel, home of the fat cat farangii. Where service is #1, supposedly.

Man, I wanted to get hell out of BD. Yes, I voted with my feet. I deep-sixed the trip out to the Blue Nile Falls (according to reports the Chinese corps of engineering diverted the entire river for electrical generation leaving a trickle to make the plunge). Instead I jumped on the next bus to Gonder. The Ghion's manager asked, as I was checking out, whether I disliked the hotel. He looked visibly perturbed that someone could leave after one night. I should have given him both barrels over the incompetence of him and his staff but I thought twice about wasting my breath.

Just as well, Gonder seems to be a good place. Gonder is quite elongated north to south. The Royal Enclosure is smack dab in the middle. It took a while to find a hotel. My choice, the Selam hotel, was located in the south near bus stop. I loved the clientele: 100% Ethiopian.

I had a quick look around and found 3 or 4 well-stocked supermarkets. The book says to load up on provisions here for treks through the Simiens. It shouldn't be a problem. I had dinner on the main strip at a place called the Quartz Cafe. Uber hip joint, my friends, complete with neon lights, big glass windows, chrome and, of course, pounding Ethiopian muzak. Lots of young upper class kids and what I called fast food. I ordered the steak burger: 2 massive pieces of grilled meat tucked between inch thick slices of bread. I thought the beef was going to walk off my plate. Way too much. I could barely eat the meat, leaving the bread lying in a bloody heap. The waitress felt bad for me and packaged the leftovers in a doggy bag.

The GPS reading for Selam Hotel was N12 36.518 E37 28.129.

Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, Apr 12/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!


Steve H. said...

While in Gondor, beware of Denethor, the mad Steward.

bubba said...

steve h., funny you point out the LOTR connection. Lalibela was called Roha until recent times...