Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lake Chamo: Hipps, Crocs and disgusting middlemen

Lake Chamo: Hipps, Crocs and disgusting middlemen

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Got up early and when Henyak came, I told him that we should go to the lake to find people to share the boat to go on the Lake Chamo Crocodile Market boat tour. Instead he drove downtown and picked up a crafty Rasta guy who kept trying to persuade me to take the whole boat myself. When I resisted, he said he has two British who may potentially join me, but I would need to pay 200 Birrs which would include the guide fees. I was unhappy because the boat per se cost 450 birr. I would prefer to split the cost with more people and I feel that no guide is needed to see hippos and crocs. I would prefer to get a boatman alone. But thanks to Henyak, the Rasta guy has been on the boat for a while and I couldn't chase him away now. On top of this, I also had to pay the Netch Sar National Park fees of 110 birr and later the group has to pay another boa usage charge of 100 birr. I am sick of these middlemen and brokers who make quick bucks but do little.

The lake has quite a bit of wildlife, ranging from croc to pelican and hippos. Quite interesting. After this, we drove to Shashemene instead of Awasa, as our car had some kind of short circuit and needed some servicing at the workshops at Shashemene. Shashemene is also the Rasta town of Ethiopia, where the Jamaicans settled on land provided by Emperor Halie Selassie.

Stayed at Shashemene's Bokalla Mola Hotel – again, like other BMH in southern Ethiopia, the hotel has seen better days. It is today underinvested and everything is falling apart.

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