What was your most adventurous trip of 2008?
We visited Ethiopia, the land of 13 months of sunshine!
Why did you choose to travel there?
The opportunities to explore are endless. Addis Ababa is central, with wildlife and culture to the south, history up north, lush coffee plantations to the west and desert to the east. The more I read about Ethiopia, the more intrigued I became about the country?s history and circumstance.
Tell us a little about the itinerary?
We went south, meandering past the Great Rift Valley Lakes and onto the Bale Mountains, before driving the historic northern route which included a few days trekking in the Simien mountains.
Where did you stay along the way, and why?
Mainly hotels, but also camping in the Simien mountains. Impromptu camping and homestays are other options for intrepid travelers.
Your favourite meal during your time away?
Spicy roast lamb so succulent it melted in our mouths. Food is cheap, plentiful and delectably spicy. We ate like kings and paupers (i.e. when someone forgot to shave the lamb!).
Did you find any 'hidden secrets' during your travels...
Sundowners on the terrace of Aksum?s Hotel Yeha ? as the evening faded from orange to a dusky pink, the sky filled with hundreds of birds of prey. Paradise Lodge overlooking Lake Chamo offers a luxurious view.
Your best travel tip for others planning a visit there?
Don?t leave home without your sense of humour! It?s your best defence against curious children, occasional water shortages and? um, fleas.
Meet any interesting locals?
We met so many locals, from priests to students to the Minister of Education, who couldn?t decide whether he should rather be the Prime Minister. Especially, our guide Tesfaye gave us such great insight into the country ? he was truly inspirational.
What's the best way to get around?
Definitely a 4x4 with a driver! Negotiating the roads of Ethiopia is a task only for the experienced and brave. The roads range from excellent to dismal and are usually bustling with people and livestock. The buses are crowded and extremely slow.
Where's next on your travel 'to-do list'?
Hopefully back to Ethiopia, this time to the Danakil region to watch the salt caravans at dawn. We?re also considering a road trip around Chile and Patagonia next. I?m also keen to visit Mali, Tunisia and Morocco.