The journey back to the car park was interesting as the wind had increased in force whilst I'd been shopping. I was now heading into the wind and it was very hard going. When I reached the safety of the car my legs were aching and felt like jelly. It had also started raining hard so I sat for a little while to see if it would improve at all but in the end I started the drive home with the wind buffeting the car and the rain considerably reducing the visibility. Fortunately the wind dropped as I got closer to London and eventually the rain stopped but I was completely drained by the time I arrived at home. I had planned on getting the fabric cut but after dinner I sat with Scamp on my lap and did some knitting whilst watching TV.
Today I was working but as soon as possible I cut out and headed for home. I'm going to try and get all the fabric cut tonight and I need to trim the blocks I've made for this quilt so that I can get sewing first thing in the morning. I also need to pop out to the local grocery store and pick up some sewing snacks for the weekend and sort out some podcasts or an audio book to listen to whilst I sew. That's almost too many decisions for a Friday evening.
Whilst knitting last night I realised how much fitter I am these days. Last year I tired very quickly and knitting and hand stitching caused me pain if I did it for too long or too often. Last night I was simply flying through the rows and although I was drained by my tiring drive home I soon felt better. I am also so much happier having unpicked all the knitting and restarted it in a bigger size. When I feel something isn't going well or it's not going to fit then I tend to put it to the back of my storage cupboard.
When I got back from Ethiopia I started to tell you about the trip but didn't get very far so I thought I'd share the next bit with you now. I forgot to take a photo of our hotel room for the first night but it was very comfortable and the coffee available in the room made a delicious start to the day. We were up at 7 for breakfast as we had to be at the airport at 9;30 for a 10:50 flight. The security took ages to get through even though it was an internal flight. The flight was only an hour and a half. Here's the view from the window.
The good bit about being part of a party is that the luggage was collected by the support team and transported to our hotel ahead of us. This happened throughout our trip.
We'd flown to Mekelle airport. From here we went straight to lunch at a restaurant in the local town where we were treated to the Ethiopian coffee ceremony for the first time. This was an event that happened several times over the trip but this was by far the best tasting coffee we were served. We found that you can't rush lunch in Ethiopia and this was to cause several of our days to run late.
We'd come to this area to visit the rock churches. These churches have been cut out of solid rock and looked amazing. We visited the first one in the afternoon and this involved a long drive along a very windy road with lots of hairpin bends that climbed up and up. When you could see the drop it was quite scary. The church is the oldest of the rock churches. Here you can see the rock on the left of the picture. In the middle part of the picture is where the rock has been cut away and the rock has been carved out of the inside to form the church interior.
You had to take your shoes off to enter the church and women needed to cover their head. The doors into the church were massive.
The paintings on the walls were beautiful and the colours were very bright. You couldn't use flash in the churches to prevent damage to the paintings.
A few years ago the church was vandalised with fire and we saw the damage on the roof decorations.
Chanting and drumming plays an important part in Ethiopian religion. The drums are a traditional shape.
There were good views across the countryside
Back down the scary zigzaggy road and a long drive to Adigrat where we were spending the night. When we arrived at the hotel the electricity was off so there were candles in the reception and dining rooms. We checked our luggage into our room by torch light. Our instructions for the trip had told us to pack a torch as the electricity can be unreliable right across the country. The lights came on halfway through our dinner but the power cut really helped the group to gel. We all drank a little too much beer and wine and enjoyed our food.
In the morning I took a photo of our lodge room to show you.This was the most basic of our hotel rooms.
The electrics were rather interest.
As we walked out of our room this was our view.
The new day was very warm and sunny and after breakfast we were all ready for the next visit.
Tomorrow I'll tell you how my sewing went and give you day three of our trip.