Sunday, February 11, 2007

Richard's blog in exile

We went on the walk to Debre Bizen yesterday - it was truly amazing.
We left the hotel at 6.15 (after the alarm had not woken us - we were
supposed to meet the others at 6am - there was some panic when I woke
at 6.05).

After a breakfast of cake in a local bakery we hopped on a bus and
headed up to the checkpoint just outsiide Asmara on the Massawa road
and started walking. We walked up hill and down valley (i guess) for
about 7 hours, on the road and the railway (there are trains about
once every 3 weeks, if a group of tourists are willing to pay!!) The
scenery was amazing a round every corner another view. The five of us
all had our digital cameras and were snapping away! We got to the
village at the bottom of the mountain with the monastery on at 1.30pm
(time for an egg sandwich for lunch, then we headed up this mountain.
It only took two hours, and of course there were the ocassional
campfire songs - English country garden, Cow Kicked Nelly, Dum Dum,
Old Mac, Pirates and Ants...this did not last long as I soon became
aware that it was hard work, and that an oxygen tank would be helpful
- I live in the lowlands, so any altitude or exercise is unheard of!!

The monastery was fantastic, they gave us a little food, and we headed
back down. I found down more difficult than up - those of you who have
seen me play football will know that I am not very stable on my feet,
yesterday was no exception! I landed on my bum at least 5 times!!!

We got back ok though, and after a 12 hour sleep I woke up, able to
feel every muscle in my legs - I am finding walking up and down curbs
hard work today!

Anyway, we met the new volunteers today, they flew in yesterday, and
have been showing the sights - it is wierd though not being the
newbees any more, feeling as though you actually know things that you
can share with people!

Tomorrow is a free day, and on Tuesday we have a motorbike maintenance
course - A little late in the day if you ask me! Then a 3 day
methodologist workshop. - I can't wait to get out and back to

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