We jetted from Bangkok to Addis Ababa yesterday on Ethiopian Airlines. I wasn’t too impressed with the two planes we were on – they were just plain old. Both times I used the restroom the broken doors swung in on me even though it said “occupied” on the outside. The video/light control console was broken on both flights and on the second flight my seat had a scant view of the video screens. But, they just joined Star Alliance in late 2011 so more miles baby!
We dropped out of the Ethiopian air space into Addis Abbaba to a brisk yet clear morning. Dry countryside and rocky outcroppings surrounding the dusty city. We will be back in early February for more exploring as our stay here was limited to the airport. As we left the airport and flew south, a huge unfinished road formed a red line on the land – it was paved and then it wasn’t. Lake after lake winked at us from the ground as we flew over – catching the suns rays directly as they flashed us in the sky. Large expanses of dry desert went on for miles – no roads, nothing. Land ripe for exploring in a Humvee. More lakes showed as we flew over the Great Rift Valley.
Upon seeing the jagged summit of Mt. Kenya I knew we were approaching Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.
It was awesome to fly by the western flanks of Mt. Kilimanjaro – our pilot even dipped the wings so we could have a better view. This is the roof of Africa – the highest point on the entire continent. The upper 1/3 of the mountain was completely covered in snow. It was 12 years almost to the day earlier that I found myself standing on the summit. The summit day was not an easy one – I found myself so intoxicated by the altitude that I ended up in a HAP bag (high altitude pressure) bag and while I was incapacitated at the 18,500 foot Sheera Plateau two guys close by died because of Pulmonary Edema brought on by the high altitude.
Once we approached South Africa we saw green and lots of it. Fields and fields. No visa forms to fill out – just a short line and a stamp and we were on our way!