Monday, January 28, 2013

Lalibela Hudad-the trek up

After a short 45 minute flight from Addis, we landed in Lalibela, Ethiopia which is north of Addis in the high lands.  There are mountains and plateaus in every view.  We took an uncomfortably crowded bus ride from the airport into the city (is there any other type of bus ride in the third world?).  We hopped off the bus, collected our luggage and met our guide along with three men with mules.

Let me backtrack by saying that a few weeks prior, Justin stumbled upon a website for Lalibela Hudad and instantly fell in love with the rugged plateau topped eco-lodge.  I agreed that it was a must see.  A once in a lifetime experience.  The 2.5 hour hike up the mountain to the plateau would be tough for the kids but for the most part we brushed it off as just part of the adventure.  We immediately called and booked two nights at Hudad.  I worried a bit about the travel but Justin seemed pretty confident that we could handle whatever we were faced with on this trip.

Now as we stood in the city looking up at the plateaus around us, watching the men try to tie our enormous suitcase and Ashlynn's pack-n-play to a mule; I became a tad nervous for the trek that awaited us.  Addie and Bella mounted mules.  Megan, Justin, and I (with Ashlynn on my back) sucked down some water and started walking, then climbing and hiking.  The city was behind us, we were in the mountains and I was already sucking wind.  Bella ended up being too small to hold onto a mule by herself so Megan rode with her.  About half way up, Ashlynn and I mounted the other mule and Addie decided to hike with Justin.

It took us three and a half hours to hike the mountain and reach the plateau.  It was the hardest hike I've ever done and I completed half of it on the back of a mule.  Justin and Addie were the real hiking heroes.  The last part of the hike is an uphill climb and they did it entirely by foot.  Justin was cramping towards the end and Addie was pale and exhausted.  All of us were in need of food and water.  The trek up to Lalibela Hudad was definitely an adventure.  Definitely a trek.
One of the guides came to Addie's rescue for the last bit of the hike.  She was beyond tired and pale having hiked a large portion of the toughest part of the hike.