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Excerpts From Ethiopia


Imagine a people untouched by time.

Imagine rocky canyons, sharp escarpments, towering mountains stretching into infinity. Imagine a lake so big that you can sail across it for days.

dscn1913-small.JPG Imagine tiny, centuries-old monasteries on secret islands where no woman has put foot for hundreds of years.

dscn1887-small.JPG Imagine glowing, brilliantly coloured medieval frescoes on ancient church walls, depicting saints, sinners, sloe-eyed angels, complacent Madonnas, pious prelates and screaming peasants being dragged off to hell by black demons.

Imagine a rest house, once the former haunt of decadent fascist Italian generals, with elegant wrought iron garden chairs and flowering plants in shaggy profusion, which later became a communist HQ complete with a 70s brown velveteen lounge suite and plastic flowers, where the waitress is called Revolution.

dscn1985-small.JPGImagine a 17-century Royal Enclosure with a 32m-high rose-red castle with turrets, towers and ramparts.

Imagine churches, one as big as an Egyptian temple, buried deep beneath the earth’s surface, hewn out of a single rock.

Imagine a country where time has stood still since its mighty Queen gave birth to King Solomon’s son, and founded a royal dynasty.

dscn2187-small.JPGImagine deep valleys, black folded rocks like frozen glaciers dipping to the valley floor. Imagine a tiny hominid, called Lucy, our common ancestor, who roamed this place 3.3 million years ago. (Read the rest of my article on Ethiopia in the January/February issue of Travel magazine.)

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Kate Turkington is one of South Africa’s best-known broadcasters, travellers and travel writers.

Her weekly Sunday night three-hour live Talk Radio 702 / CapeTalk talkshow, Believe It Or Not, which came to an end in early 2013 was South Africa’s longest-running radio talkshow with the same host in the same time slot. She continues to broadcast as a regular guest on travel shows where she talks about the when, where, why, what and how of travel both locally and internationally from her vast personal experience. She also blogs for several travel websites.

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