You don’t drive here. Not really.
Sure, tourists climb in white vans and whip up dust as they move from one historic church to the next, but the most interesting parts of Lalibela, are found on foot.
They’re hidden in valleys, caves or up on top of the mountains.
They’re the places where time seems to stand still – where people use donkeys to cart loads of rock or sacks of harvested barley or corn.
We were impressed by the women who carried heavy loads of firewood on their back and the men who carried buckets on their shoulders while climbing up mountain paths of loose rock.
We arrived in dry season. A few months from now, when the rain comes, these fields will be vibrant shades of green, as farmers plant corn or barley. (I love this shot because it shows what Ethiopia is most famous for: it’s gold-medal runners)
Actually, it did rain one evening. The locals smiled from ear to ear. Rain hadn’t touched the ground for months.
My friend Heidi and I loved Lalibela and after 3 nights, felt like we were leaving too soon, that there was more to soak in.