Day 115 Ethiopia : Gonder - Debre Tabor

Day 115 Ethiopia

Trip Distance 161 km (100 m) Total Distance 13171 km (8186 m)
Road Condition 75% tar 25% dirt, corrugation, mud  
Time to travel 2 hrs 1.2 hrs  
Stopover
Debre Tabor
Hibret Hotel N11.85792 E38.00471 EB180 - En suite, hot showers when electricity available, flushing loo, clean fluffy towels and crisp white thick duvets.

We spent the morning shopping in Gonder and stocking up on the essentials .... like whiskey and gin at a really cheap price! But eventually it was time to set off.  As we haven't done any major driving for almost 3 weeks now, we decided to break ourselves in gently and keep distances low for the first part.  So it was about 3 hours later that we arrived in Debre Tabor.  The road right up to the turn off to Debre Tabor is asphalt and the surface of the rest of it, dirt, corrugations and mud.  As we approached the town, we could see an enormous pink building appearing on our right.  We thought it might be an hotel but as it wasn't on Tracks 4 Africa we carried on through town to check out the listed hotels.  Not impressed with any of them, we back tracked to the pink building, and what a surprise.  The hotel had been open for only 28 days and with hot water, en-suite bathrooms, fluffy white bath towels, TV and satellite, we were well pleased with the price.

After settling in and watching a DVD to pass the time, we got ourselves ready for dinner.  It was our first taste of injeera and what a delight!  We had heard that Debre Tabor was the best injeera so we had been holding out for some whilst we got there.  It was well worth the wait.  Just to explain what injeera is.  It looks like a large, round (almost 60cm in diameter) thick, grey pancake.  It's made with a grain called Tef and the mixture is made 1-3 days before cooking to allow it to partially ferment so that it looks like it's filled with bubbles when it cooks and rises slightly.  The texture when you pop it in your mouth is also like a thick pancake but it has a lovely lemony zing to it (from the fermentation).  I have since eaten it loads of times around Ethiopia, can officially say that I'm hooked but the flavour changes depending on temperature, town and who's cooked it.  This is not like eating a standard loaf of white bread.  And although the texture is different, it has a flavour that reminds you of sourdough bread.  Anyway, I have digressed somewhat because this isn't the only thing on the menu.  Injeera is served with a variety of different sauces and meats ranging from Shiro (smooth chickpea stew/gravy), Shiro Besan (chickpeas with meat), Tibs (small chunks of lamb stir-fried with onions, garlic and chillie), Kai Wat (a spicy red meat stew) or the fasting injeera served with about 7 or 8 different vegetarian sauces, stews and mixes.  YUM YUM. All of which you eat with your hands.  Even if you think that you'll never visit Ethiopia, the next time you hear of or see an Ethiopian restaurant, do yourselves a favour and go inside for a food adventure.