Pilgrimage at Lalibela
I’ve just posted a new portfolio and thought I’d invite you to take a look. My first trip to Ethiopia was in 2006, a month-long road trip that blew my mind, and no place more so than Lalibela. I’ve returned to Ethiopia 6 times now, and to Lalibela three times, and each time it completely captured my imagination. What other places can you go to on this planet with such history, and still so living and active? It’s changing, of course, everything does; in 2006 there weren’t the large UNESCO shelters built to preserve the rock-hewn churches. You see those right away and for me they’re a sad reality. The omnipresence of mobile phones blew me away this year. Some of the pilgrims walked for weeks or months to get there, other piled on buses from the other side of the country, and others still flew up from Addis, took a lot of iPhone selfies, and flew home. Strange. But even in all the change, the place retains a holiness about it, an otherness about it, if you’re willing to sit still with an open heart and open eyes – and I long to go back to. You can see that expanded portfolio if you follow this link. I hope you see in these images some of the mystery and beauty I see there.
If you’ve always wanted to go, Jeffrey Chapman, my friend and partner in crime on two of these journeys, is taking a group back next January, and you can get more information here. Don’t wait long, this is one of those places you want to go to before it gets forever changed by market forces and tourist dollars. I won’t be there – I’ll be in Hokkaido freezing my arse off while you guys are drinking some of the best coffee of your lives in a place that feels 2000 years back in time. But if you want to go, get on it, this year’s trip sold out quickly.
PS – Many of you know I was in surgery yesterday. They pulled some hardware out and fused one of the ankle joints. The surgery went well and I’m now home and grateful for the emails and comments, etc. Thank you too for the prayers and good wishes and healing mojo – all very much appreciated. With any luck this will be the last of it for a while to come.