When we arrived at the fishmarket, we were initially greeted by the marabou, a large stork so ugly it made us feel sorry for him. A huge tree was full of them, but they were also walking the ground on their high legs, as tall as a child, sometimes flying overhead with their remarkable shrieks - but we would find most near the fishermen. A small group of women was selling other stuff under a tree, and from here, we saw the place where the fishermen bring their catch. They were ordering their nets, some were cleaning their freshly caught fish, or feeding marabous and pelicans some of the leftovers.
From the busy part of the fishermen, surrounded by many marabous, we walked to the area where the fish were actually being cleaned, filed, and cut. Some boys were even filing the fish with their teeth, a strange sight. Close to this place, we found several stalls selling fish, and we tasted some of the fried fish that we knew had to be very fresh; it was, indeed, delicious. A short drive through Awassa from here took us to the shore of Lake Awassa. The shore seemed pretty shallow, with reed growing on all parts, which men with long sticks were harvesting. Renting a boat was easy enough, and we sailed along the shore towards the north.
Here, we found a group of hippos. The boatman stopped the engine, and we stayed in this place to watch the giant animals float, go under (always wondering where they would get up!), blowing water into the air and rotating their small ears very fast whenever they came up, opening their enormous mouths, and some even getting into a fight. Apart from the hippos, we saw and heard plenty of birds in this attractive area for animals. Going back to Awassa, we noticed that the African fish eagle we had seen before, was still sitting on top of a bare tree, and just as we passed, the mighty animal with its white head started a dive towards the water that turned out to be deadly for a fish just ahead of our boat. We almost could not believe it happened so close to our eyes: the eagle flying away with his catch in his right claw while returning to his tree for a nice lunch. It was a lucky end of our visit of Awassa.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Awassa (Ethiopia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Awassa. Read more about this site.