Travel Vaccines and reflections of Africa – The Simien and Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Adventure, Africa, Personal, photography

 

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If you have travelled to Africa it is most likely you would have been required to have a yellow fever vaccination – still required in many countries

I got my Yellow Card, proof of vaccination 20 years ago on my first trip to the African Continent.

Being in the Melbourne, Australia COVID 19 lockdown it is a good chance to reflect on the need for vaccination and travel and the relationship between the two.

The Simien Mountains

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The Simien Mountains are a World Heritage alpine area in the North of Ethiopia

Its also called the water tower of East Africa providing the source for the Blue Nile

The Blue Nile provides 80% of the water that reaches Egypt, flowing through Sudan where it meets with the White Nile to form the Nile River

 

With peaks up to 4,550 metres within the vast sprawling alpine range

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A range of deep gorges, rugged peaks and waterfalls plummeting thousands of metres

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The Simiens have unique flora and fauna

Such as the Giant Lobelia

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The endemic Gelada (or bleeding heart baboon) and Olive baboons

And if you look closely a Walia Ibex

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It was a three night trek through the Simiens

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Camping in the Alps

Amazing sunsets and the high plateau

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And watching the moon rise over the cliff tops from the gorges

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The Bale Mountains

The Simien Mountains are in the North East of Ethiopia and the Bale Mountains in the South East

Almost bookends at each end of the Ethiopian Central Highlands

The Simiens in the Amhara Region and the Bale in the Oromia Region

The Bale Mountains are drier less dramatic that the northern bookend

These mountains are the catchment for the Jubba River system

Which flows across Ethiopia and Somalia to the Indian Ocean

The Bale Mountains are more easily accessed than the Simiens

Far better for catching sightings of the Ethiopian Wolf

And the amazing bird life

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Also In the Bale Provence toward the Somalian Border is are the Sof Omar Caves

Its well over a decade since I travelled in these mountains with my family.

And yes a vaccine for Yellow Fever was compulsory

Maybe compulsory vaccinations will be more widespread for travellers in the future given COVID-19

A taste of the Savoia, Annecy and Aix les Bains.

Adventure, Europe, France, photography, travel

The old town in Annecy built around little canals that flow into the lake is a treat

The lakes are the feature of both Annecy and Aix les Bains.

In Aix-les-Bains the steep cliffs around Lac du Bourget provide a riding and viewing pleasure

Especially when you find a little Cafe perched on the cliff edge

To enjoy a beautiful Savoia pinot noir and chucaterie selection.

I was lucky enough to be able to join in solidarity with French Climate Activists and march is support of the world’s beautiful natural places. The planet is worth making a stand for!

Fireworks, fruit, snowy passes, history and motorbikes in Northern Italy

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

The Moto Guzzi open days on Lake Como go off with a bang

As the marques faithful followers flock to Mandello de Lario.

From Trieste it was a winding road over passes both broad and narrow.

Lakes dotting the path

To Como the Lake of Dreams

Its early September on inthe villages the fruit on the trees ready to pick

As by the weekend end the first snow had started to fall

Dusting the Alps with white and adding a chill to the air in the passes.

Then there is the history of the area such as Bergamo it’s old and new city, home of Pope John xxiii and comrades of Garibaldi.

And the little village of Glorenza that time almost has passed by.

And is on the door steps of the Swiss Alps.

Le Dolomiti

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

In the Dolomites

From my camp in Cipena near Bormio it was over Stelvio once again and onto Merano, a gateway to the Dolomites.

Jaufenpass

The high road from Merano leads to the Jaufenpass.

From there the amazing rock structures that are the Dolomites unfold

Campsites tucked under the monoliths give amazing mountain sunsets

Over the Passo Gardana, a favoured by bikers the way I took toward Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina is such a beautiful Alpine city.

Looking down onto Cortina

Cortina centre

The there is the back roads and villages. Little campsites where there is space and few people

In and around the village of Cimolais

Like all Alpine areas you have to sometime pay for the beauty with thunderstorms and a day of rain

Rain after the thunderstorm in Cortina. It’s a small price to pay.

Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Adventure, Europe, Italy, photography, Switzerland, travel

Swiss/Italian border, Umbrial Pass

There was much nostalga riding from Switzerland to Italy

The Fluelapass was the first Alpine pass I rode back in 2016

At the time I couldn’t imagine how I could come back again

And now Im on the 4th tour.

Truly addicted to the Alps

The Fluelapass links to the Ofen Pass and that to the Umbrial Pass which crosseS into Italy and leads to the beautiful city of Bormio.

The top of the Stelvio is a Circus of bicycles, motorbikes, cars, sausage Stalls hotels and shops .

From Bormio the valley opens up

With lovely camping grounds, with walkers, cyclists and bikers in summer. Skiers in winter.

Perfect for camping in the pretty village of Cepina.

Interlaken and the Rhine Fall, Swiss tourist spots

Europe, Motorbikes, Switzerland, travel

The Rhine fall in Schaffhausen is a spectacular cascades of water

Not far from the German border and in the very high Rhine

Europe’s biggest fall by water volume wedged between two Swiss Castles

Interlaken as the name suggests sits between two lakes

Beautiful Swiss Lakes

A town of opulant hotels

Narrow shopping streets

And street cafes and bistros where the rider can replenish

A perfect day riding in the Swiss Alps

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel

Atop Nufenen Pass

My Swiss friend took me for a days ride

A beautiful day with the sun shining, 9 high mountain passes and 430km covered

I was buzzing at the end

Ice flow on Furka

There is the right way! Ascend the mountain on the side with the tightest corners and descend where the corners are not so tight.

Why?

Its more challenging that way!

Then you must do your favourite pass twice.

Looking at Grimsel Pass from Furka

Looking over Glestch to Furka Pass from Grimsel

There was still lots of ice flows remaining from winter.

Top of Grimsel

Then there is a stop at a mountain top restaurant for lunch

Goulash soup my fave at the top of Nufenen

And the view

And of course the amazing Alpine transport system

Fast trains

And luxury coaches

San Gotthard to Airola coach runs up and down San Gotthard pass

Just a perfect days riding

What a ride 3 countries, 4 high passes.

Adventure, Europe, France, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland

The Col de Iseran looms high above the Val d’Isre

The Val d’Isre is a Ski Ressort in winter a biker mecca in summer

Then there is the Petite Saint Bernhard that crossed from France to Italy

The Petite links to the Great Saint Bernhard at Aosta,

And at the top of the Pass it crossed into Switzerland

The Great Saint Bernhard runs to the Swiss city of Martigny

There the is a final pass to Chamonix in France

The Col Forclaz with its little hotel in the Pass which is so Swiss

And then in Chamonix stay at the foot of Mount Blanc.