I don’t have a car right now, so I hired a driver with a Toyota Land Cruiser for a four-day weekend trip to the Bale Mountains. Thursday’s drive to the lodge went well. But this morning we took the car out with a guide to try to see the wolves that live on the Sanetti Plateau.
As we head up over the hill we are reminded that yes, it is still the rainy season in Ethiopia.
30 minutes from the lodge, while trying to avoid a particularly sloggy bit, we find ourselves mired with two wheels off the edge of the road.
Gedion and Awel try various ways to get us out but only succeed at digging us in deeper. No phone service or 3G out here, so we can’t call back to the lodge.
Most of the traffic is on horseback or on foot, but occasionally there’s a motor vehicle. We wait until we finally hear an engine coming up the other side of the hill. It’s a big Isuzu truck!
People herding horses and cattle stop to watch. Gedion musters the men and boys to help us while the animals stand around.
They try pushing.
They try pulling.
Alekka is no help at all (neither am I, but someone has to document the experience, right?)
Finally here comes another vehicle. It’s a Hilux!
Why, yes, little Land Cruiser! Just attach your winch cable and I’ll get you out of there.
Hurray! Thank you, little Hilux! Tips are dispensed all around, and we are on our way. Let’s go see some wolves.
Sweet. But couldn’t that Rover have winched its way out by hitchng onto a tree?