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Ethiopia Trip Pictures (Page 2 of 2) from Nov. 20 to Dec. 12, 2007

To return to Ethiopia Photos Page 1 or to proceed to Ethiopia Journal.

Nov. 29, 2007. We set off to continue on the historical route.

The road between Adwa to Debre Damo is mostly paved.

Then the road climbs again to 3000m elevation and ...

... gets a bit trickier as a portion is under major construction ...

... and we pass a couple of huge mountain passes with rough steep sections.

The scenery makes up for all the rough roads.

Most of the mountains are cultivated ...

... as can be seen here.

Nov. 30, 2007. We entered the TIGRAY REGION and ...

... stopped to ask the locals for directions.

Ethiopia amazes us every day, as the landscape changes all the time.

If we would not tell you that this is Ethiopia, one would think it was Arizona, in the States.

The ride to the first Rock Hewn Church is 38km west on a gravel road.

The last couple of km turn into a path that looks like this.

Our ascent to the MARIAM KOTOR Rock Hewn Church.

Half way up the mountain we are rewarded with some amazing views.

Reaching the top of the mountain and our destination.

The inside of the Rock Hewn Church is small.

Pillars and the vaulted ceilings are carved out of the rock.

The erosion from people leaning against the pillars for ...

... centuries can be seen on each pillar.

The priest leads us to another hidden church, located on this ledge.

Looking straight down are our motorcycles.

Here is a closer look.

The entrance to the church from the ledge.

Inside the walls are decorated with simple frescos.

The church consists of two tiny rooms.

View outside the door.

The priest holds open the door to exit.

Mike slowly crawls out the small door ensuring he does not go over the ledge.

View from the church door/ledge. The road we rode in on earlier can be seen.

Walking along the ledge.

Back at the bottom and looking up to the mountain and were we had walked earlier.

Local children surround Mike and are curious about the motorcycle.

The hotel in Wukro for 20Birr/night ($2.20CDN/night). Our cheapest room yet.

Secure parking of the motorcycles.

Dec. 01, 2007. Leaving Wukro and heading south on a good tarred road.

The road winds and twists its way through the mountains. We turn 70km north of Weldiya by Kobo east to Lalibela onto a dirt/rock road.

The road climbs to an elevation of 3554m.

Road conditions deteriorate and we cover only 40km in 4 hrs.

As the sun light diminishes we are forced to set up camp high in the mountains.

Dec. 02, 2007. We pack up the tent before sunrise and are on the road again.

Another 70km of this lay ahead of us.

And one loose corner and Ruby dropped the motorcycle.

Unfortunately the bolt for the crash bar sheared and the protection bar folded into the right cylinder.

Our GPS elevation profile for the day. We climbed 2000m in 50km. It takes us another 5 hours of riding to reach Lalibela.

Mike prepares some JB Weld.

The magnesium right cylinder cover had cracked on the lower bolt.

We apply JB Weld.

It seems to work.

Dec. 03, 2007. We spent all day exploring the Rock Hewn Churches of LALIBELA.

In the morning we visit 5 churches which are located in the same area, ...

... starting with the CHURCH OF SAVOR.

A monolithic (freestanding) church, ...

... with 34 free standing columns outside and 38 inside.

It is the largest church of the eleven (11) churches.

The priest showed us the replica of Saint/King Lalibela cross.

The outer rock walls surrounding the church are covered with niches, which used to be burial places for monks and nuns.

The tiny niches are now used as resting places for Pilgrims for 1 - 2 weeks stay as they pray.

Small tunnels dug into the rock connect each church.

Locals come to pray.

5 churches are currently covered with this scaffolding. This is the exterior of the ST. MARY CHURCH.

The church has unique windows shaped in form of crosses. Seen here is the Swastika Cross.

This is the Greek Cross.

The church has 3 porches facing north, south & west.

The columns are beautifully carved.

Frescos cover the ceiling and columns.

This church had the best interior of all 11 churches.

Inside the CHURCH OF THE CROSS this uniquely wooden carved box to save keep the arc.

The priest of the church displays 2 original crosses from the 12th Century.

Nuns preparing the wheat to make the holy bread. (The wheat is donated by Canada).


... can be seen through this walkway.

The priest from the CHURCH OF THE VIRGIN showed us a couple of 12th Century crosses.

The TWIN CHURCH is a semi-monolithic church, as one corner is still connected to the rock.

The tiny access path to the church.

Small niches used as resting places for the pilgrims.

Inside the twin churches. In the distance the door that leads into the monastery.

Females are not allowed in the monastery.

The 12 Apostles are carved life size into the walls.

The door that separates the 2 churches.

Another of the 12 Apostles.

The priest presents the churches crosses for viewing.

The symbolic tomb of Adam.

Probably the most famous of all the churches.


The large church built by Saint/King Lalibela.

Monolithic in style and built in the shape of a cross.

Representing the Noa%u2019s arc.

A priest waving incense.

We were able to witness the end of the mass and ...

... the celebration of St. George.

The ceremony consisted of chanting, drum playing and scripture reading.

After the mass we were able to enter the St. George and see the incense and hand made candles.

The priest was blessing the locals with 2 crosses seen here.

The first floor windows of the St. George Church are false and ...

... the second floor has 12 real windows, one for each apostle.

As we break for lunch we make our way through the village of Lalibela.

Traditional house, ...

... most of the village are made of these.

Drying of millet ...

... to prepare local beer.

The CHURCH OF ST. GABRIEL & RAFAEL, both are contained in one Rock Hewn Church.

The area below the church is hollow.

The priest shows us the churches crosses.

The churches are only accessible by a bridge due to a large excavated gorge.

Studded wooden church door.

Another walkway between churches.

The longest tunnel (50m) accessible by tourists ...

... between churches. A torch is required as it is not lit.

Exiting one of the tunnels.

The priest uses this rock as a bell, it sounds very similar to the traditional bells.

Exiting another tunnel.


The churches design is based on the Aksum architecture.

The Priest shows us the crosses specific to this church.

Walking through yet another tunnel to the last excavated church.

This church was dedicated by Saint/King Lalibela ...

... to his wife. The legend has it that it was carved in 24hrs ...

... and with the help of angels.

This is one of the reasons why the roof is not complete.

This was our favourite priest.

Dec. 04, 2007. We take the alternative and more traveled route out of Lalibela.

The land is cultivated.

Descending from 3200m into Weldiya.

This is what we look like after a day on the dirt roads ...

... and diesel fumes.

Dec. 05 to 10, 2007. We stay in Addis Ababa with Robert. Cleaning gear and ...

... adjusting valves on the motorcycles.

Mike uses more JB weld to apply to the inside of the cylinder cover.

It seems to work well.

Robert takes us out to the Faskika Restaurant in Addis ...

... for some traditional Ethiopian food.

This was our favourite meal.

It helps to have someone like Robert ...

... who speaks the local language and knows what to order.

The meal was accompanied by traditional singing and dancing.

A sign to the restaurant reads "Huts and Guns are not allowed".

Roasting the beans and making coffee.

Meeting up with Marleen and Guy from Belguim, as well as Rene from Canada.

Rene is from Edmonton and we had met a few years back and kept in touch. Here on his BMW 650.

Leaving our home away from home. Thanks Robert for taking us in and taking care of us.

Dec. 10, 2007. Camping south-east of Shashemene a couple of hundred meters form natural Hot Springs.

By chance we met up with Rene again at this campground. He is heading towards Yemen.

Dec. 11, 2007. The usual crowd of children gather around us as we stop.

Settlement on the side of the road.

South of Awasa the scenery is very green and lush (tropical).

Another stop and more children.

Stopping in Yabelo and setting up camp in the Motel yard.

Meeting Jeanette (South African) and Jean (Namibian) traveling with their Toyota from London to South Africa.

Dec. 12, 2007. Enroute to Moyale we pull off inland to take a picture.

Local tribe people show up out of nowhere and are curious as we set up the tripod ...

... to take this picture of us standing in from of these weird dirt towers, made by ants.

Ruby trying to communicate by sign language.

We felt lucky to had gotten this chance to met these children, as they were still untouched by the modern world (tourism).

Before Moyale and the Kenyan Border the scenery changes.

The landscape is dotted by these towers.

A village on the side of the road.

Ethiopia is surprisingly clean country. We loved Ethiopia.