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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Dimmock

Island monastery hopping

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

At 9am this morning, 2nd January, we met up with Eddie our new guide for the next 3 days. I had agreed with him a price of $325 dollars to tour us for 3 days including the drive to Gondar. I have no real idea if this is a reasonable price but, given we will be having a boat for two days to ourselves and a car to Gondar, $100 ish dollars a day sounds fine to me.

We walked down to the port at Lake Tana, with Tiger holding my hand and getting a lot of attention, bless her! Then we boarded our own big boat - all to ourselves!

The first port of call was Ura Kidane Mihret Monastery set on the Zege Peninsula. To get there we walked from the jetty about 15 minutes and I was ever so grateful that Eddie carried Tiger for quite a bit of the way. The monastery was founded in the 14th century by a priest called Betre Maryam. The circular church was built in the 16th century, and its walls are covered in murals painted between 250 and 100 years ago. The museum nearby had some incredible leather bound Bibles, crafted using animal skin which I was quite fascinated by.

We stopped at a second island and visited another, smaller church where Tiger ran around, stole the cups and did a passable job on the drums. Eddie carried her in his arms so it was lovely and relaxing for me! Total *wow* moment for me after this too when we saw three hippos - including one baby (squint at the picture and you may be able to see them!).

We made our way back to the port then, by which time Tiger was shattered and back in her bed for naptime at 2pm! It's definitely a real challenge juggling a trip with a toddler's naptimes but at least I get a regular afternoon snooze too!

After naptime, we headed out to the market to buy 2kg of bananas (2kg! Because 1kg is not enough for her!), washing up liquid, and mosquito spray - living the dream! We had dinner in the cafe above the supermarket where they managed to forget my meal, but Tiger had spaghetti and tomato and ate the lot! The bill came to 73 Birr which is only £1.40 so a bargain too!

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