Boat trips on the lake
The images that flooded the television screens of the western world during the 80s showed us Ethiopia as a poor, arid country and where people died thousands every day. It seemed the earthly hell itself.
However, although it is true that the years of terrible drought ruined the crops and decimated the population, Ethiopia is a beautiful country of mountains, rivers and lakes that after the rainy season they are shown to us as true life angels.
On the banks of some of those lakes that dot the country, cities have been established whose economy depends largely on national tourism. Yes, friends, Ethiopia is not a shattered country where everyone is poor. Here there is also the middle and upper-middle class and there are few who use their vacations to spend a few days with family somewhere in the country.
Though Bahir Dar , on the banks of the mythical Lake Tana (the largest in Ethiopia and with a rich history, full of rites and legends), is the national destination preferred by most Ethiopians, about 270 km south of the capital, Addis Ababa, is another lake that brings together hotels, restaurants and leisure areas. In Awassa (Awasa or Hawassa), say the Ethiopians, life has another color.
Order in chaos
When I arrived at the bus station of Awassa coming from the chaotic Shashemene I realized that something was different. It was one of the main roads of the city and the usual crowd that occupies the streets of the Ethiopian cities was there, but everything seemed to move within a certain order, so complicated to find in these latitudes.
As I moved forward with my backpack on the streets of downtown I saw that shops, restaurants and even schools, seemed to look better than in the capital or other cities through which it had passed. Nor did I draw attention so much. When I crossed the white room in half an hour's walk, I understood why.