Monday, October 12, 2015

Wenchi Crater Lake



My first trip outside Addis was an embassy-organized excursion to Wenchi Crater Lake, about 4 hours' drive from the city. The caldera of an extinct volcano now has a lake in the middle with waterfalls and hot and cold springs, and the views are lovely. Almost 30 of us went on a 5-hour tour down from the rim of the caldera, around through a lush spring-fed valley, across the lake to an island in the middle with a monastery on it, over to the other side of the lake for lunch, and back up top to head home.

There were horses available for most of the way (except a tricky section where the road was washed out) but I walked the 10 km down to the lake. If a six-year-old could do it, so could I, and it's tough to take good pictures from horseback. Up was a different story: at this point in my altitude adjustment I can handle one flight of stairs without falling apart but two is still a challenge, so I was not about to try a 1.5-hour upward climb. Not that my unathletic self would have tried it at sea level either. Yay for knowing my limitations!

The scenery was lovely, dramatic and green from the end of the rainy season. I learned some things about the local area too. The springs there are the source for Ambo, a popular water brand named for the nearest town. Over 2000 people live in and around the crater growing barley and ensete on the steep slopes. A great trip!

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