We had no intention to stay at the unfortunate bush camp any longer so we simply packed up and left and had breakfast in a town an hour away. And yes, I ate injera for breakfast (with scrambled eggs). Bland/sour as it may be I still prefer it to bread. Though I have to say that most bread here is really good because there are no preservatives in it and that seems to make all the difference.
At lunchtime we pulled up in Mekele, a bigger town with a really good vibe. Electronics and fashion shops everywhere, pool halls and high speed internet. The hotel we wanted was not available and we ended up staying at the more expensive four star Milano hotel that looked great but lacked the usual…power only from the one socket that dangerously hung out of the wall and no water until ‘later’ which could be 6pm, 10pm or never. This wouldn’t have been so bad had we not just bushcamped with no toilet privacy whatsoever and our water reserves on the truck had been full. Now we couldn’t even flush a toilet with rainwater as none was provided.
For lunch we headed straight into the “chicken house” which unfortunately didn’t satisfy the chicken craving I have. The roasted chicken I ordered consisted of the neck, a meatless wing and something resembling a breast with very rubbery meat. The service was less than inspiring, it was almost as if we were a nuisance.
There was an outdoor handball game on at the courtyard behind the hotel and we had great views from the 3rd floor balcony. The Simien mountain rangers wiped out the Mekele team in an exciting though short game, fun to watch, certainly with the crowd reaction (no women and only one vuvuzuela). I think I made it onto local tv again when I cheered for the Simien team from up high.
Dinner was exceptional, freshly made stone oven pizza that took forever but was well worth the wait and unnecessary modern decor of the restaurant. The waitress looked like one of the prostitutes we see hanging in and around bars and hotels, very pretty but overly skimpy and not able to walk in her high heels.