Gondar is full of unemployed adolescents and young men who want to be your guide, shine your shoes, or be your friend for the day. A walk through town thus brings an unending and extremely annoying series of "Hey Misters." Some of the would be guides are very persistent. Two followed me all the way from the city center to the ruins and then waited outside the gate for a couple of hours until I reappeared. I finally had to take a taxi to my next destination just to escape them. While I never felt threatened, the endless solicitations make walking around town mentally taxing. With the exception of the two cited above, I found that first ignoring the entreaties and, when that didn't work, turning to face the solicitor and saying, "Please stop following me." was fairly effective. Unfortunately polite "no thank you's" were generally ineffective.
Debark for the Simiens?
I had a slight intention of visiting the Simien Mountains, but didn't want to do a whole 2-3 days trip with an organized tour. So I thought of taking a bus to the nearby Debark and find there an easier way to the mountains.
Fortunately I didn't! When I passed by Debark the following day (on my way to Axum) I saw that Debark is just a group of huts in a road junction, so...
START YOUR TREKKINGS IN GONDER, there is not much chance in Debark, and you might get stucked in the road junction waiting for the Gonder-Axum bus (which might be full when passing).
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
Don't lose the bus ticket
When travelling by bus, you will get a paper ticket. Keep it, as you will need it at the end. The man in blue will ask you for it when the bus is about to arrive (this is a signal that there are 10-15 minutes left to arrive) and he will keep it. If you want it as a souvenir, he can make en exception. Some of the passengers ask him for a receipt (to get the money back at its office...), but you won't need that...
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel