Ethiopian woman in the Simiens, Mekarebya, Ethiopia...
Man, I'm beat. The minibus ride officially started at 0341 The van was full. Yours truly, the lone farangi as usual, got stuck with the corner seat at the very back. I didn't care much though. I just wanted out of Bahar Dir. Ride was uneventful. Scenery was kind of bland, flatter than an injera at some points. That was until we hit the incredible Blue Nile Gorge. It was huge.
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[Ed. note: the elevation of the south rim of the gorge (10° 1'9.00"N 38°14'49.38"E) was 2485m resulting in a gorge depth here of 1417m]
Arrived in Addis at about 1315. A welcomed homecoming in a sense. I'd spent 3 weeks out in the boonies. The minibus stopped in a familiar roundabout just a short walk from the hotel district of the Piazza. Strange but I found comfort in dragging my overstuffed backpack through the crowded streets despite skirting the numerous beggars at the side of the roads (people afflicted with blindness and one particular guy with horrific boils all over his body).
Not sure what to do next. Two options: 1) go east to visit the islamic town of Harrar (I still have a couple of hundred bucks worth of birr burning a hole in my pocket, 2) get the Sudanese visa and get out of town (the logistical stars seem aligned well for catching the Lake Nasser ferry). I'll sleep on it (at the Taitu hotel where I'm staying now) and make some kind of plan tomorrow.