Napier Trek - Priests of Rock

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Tue 18 Nov
Priest, LalibelaBreakfast as usual but then into the Land Cruiser for a 70km dirt track drive to Lalibela. This proved to be quite fun, especially when we got stuck in sand and our driver jacked the car up to no avail, rocks were carefully positioned to no avail, and matters were only resolved when Mark pointed out the wheel hubs were not locked for four-wheel-drive.

This was my fourth time to visit Lalibela and its famous rock-hewn churches. Eleven churches, complete with rooms, ceilings, columns and arches but each one "hollowed" out of solid rock. I found them as enchanting as ever. We were privileged to be among few tourists so could linger in each church as we wished.

Later that evening we met up in a local tej house that was buzzing with a party of secondary school teachers celebrating something. They generously included us in their food and socialising. We paid for the attendant local musician who managed to "weave" our names into his song(s), and we ended up with Michelle and a lady teacher drawing peopleís attention to the dance floor.

Beit Georgis, LalibelaWed 19 Nov
In the early morning Mark, Michelle and myself went back for a second look at the group one churches and a chance to take photos in the soft morning light. After breakfast we were shown around the group two churches, making 11 in all. These had a very special feel, something to do with the light, incense, freshness of minds, I donít know exactly but one church in particular seemed holy to me and I felt very privileged to be there.

We drove back on the "main" road, about twice the distance but Solomon was happier that we would not be needing the four-wheel-drive. The road climbed perhaps 500m up on to the Santerra plain, and then 20km along it; a sneak preview of next two daysí trek.


Napier Trek - Priests of Rock

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