From the bust street to the stresses of the day, Addis Ababa can be a place of great opportunity but a little inn of havoc too. The ዋሕዚ of endless number of people down the road to the shouting and yelling of the shoppers and little children, the city could be too much to handle for a small town woman like me. Growing up in a quiet neighborhood makes you like that, it derogates patience you ought to have for a city like Addis Ababa. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when people have the impression of ‘oh my God! I feel lost in this great number of people’.
After few months of coping up with this first impression madness, I started to look for a place where I can enjoy some quiet time under the pretense of a trip. People recommended that such place can only be found outside the city. Names of places I haven’t heard were mentioned such as; Bishoftu, Langano, Nazereth, Hawasa and endless names. Putting in mind the distance we had to travel, me and my friends circled out Bishoftu and Nazereth, a 3 days and 2 nights trip.
The cool breath on the road trip we embarked to Bishoftu was a little therapy from the scorching sun and its heat in Addis Ababa. However, that joy quickly come to a halt when we reached the city which happened to be hot at this time of the year. No worries; it was nothing we couldn’t handle. After freshening up in our hotel, we set out to check the infamous ‘Kuriftu Resort and Spa’ everyone keeps talking about and honestly takes lots of pictures too.
Let me tell you, it was everything I was looking for and needed. From the exhilarating rides the water park has to offer to the quiet lunch by the lake, it was the exact escape place I needed. There is nothing to compare to the combination a little fun and a little quiet time can bring.
As a person who can’t handle cold showers and cold pool water, the water park had nothing but bad news for me. The second the tip of my feet touch the water, my whole body froze reacting to the bone cold water. I couldn’t move except hug my upper body in utter disbelief. My friends had to drag me into the water promising it will get better when my whole body is dripped in that freezing water. ‘Well, I was already there so better suck it up’ I gave myself a little prep talk, I got into the water to try having fun just like everyone else. And let me tell you, it was a trick. It didn’t get better except the fact that I was shaking with shivers a mouth full of curses for those of my tricksters. After a couple of minutes however, I got used to it and joined in the craziness of it all. My body got used to the cold and even dared going into the water on many occasions on its own.
Keen on trying all the water coaster the place had to offer, we tried the triple spiral slide first. No one was confident to try any of the slides alone, so we decided to try everything in pairs. When we got to the top, me and my friend hopped in and set to try the water slide everyone has been raving about for the first time. When we got in and the guard pushed us down, we started giggling like children and laughed the whole way down. As we reached the pool underneath the slides, we couldn’t stop laughing, looking at the fascination in our eyes. Not getting enough of it, we tried it again and again until we got accustomed to it.
People bursting into adult like, horrifying shouts, we wanted to join the group of those scared cats who were bursting on the other higher slide, the boomerang slide. Pumped up with all the confident from mastering the other slides, we thought this one would be as easy as the spiral slide. Oh, we couldn’t have been more wrong. When we were buckled up and off to slide in to what felt like our death, grown women, we couldn’t stop screaming at the heart skipping falling the slides seem to be made for. It felt like we really were falling in to the abyss and there was no more giggling except the eyes bulging, shock filled screaming we seemed to have burst to. As the we got to the bottom, our mind rushed to comprehend the last 2 minutes once we were able to wrap our minds around it. Shacking, laughing, dumbfounded, we immediately fell in love with that experience and got in to do it all over again. After few attempts, we got used to the exhilarating feeling of falling down, and replaced our horrified screaming into a fascination screams. Yep, we still screamed through it all. There is something liberating on screaming your heart out.
Once we mastered all of the slides, the guards announced that there would be a wave pool with a performance and directed us to go there. As a person who grew up in a country where you could go to a beach and experience a natural wave gashing coming your way, I wasn’t that impressed at first. But oh boy, was I wrong. When we were all stripped into our life vest and got into our own paddling inflatable circles, we were told to hold each other’s hands. Still cocky on my ignorance, I waited for the performance to start. When the guard gave the signal, the artificial waves started and it was the most exciting experience I had. The waves first started coming vertical and it pushed us to the foot of the pool, almost kicking us out of the fun. However, the horizontal waves came and started pushing everyone to the slide, kicking and screaming, everyone felt like they were trapped in a boat caught in a storm. Bumping into each other, flipping some of us over, this spectacular performance ended after 10mins. Everyone one begged the guards for an encore but with time we all went to slides to continue the fun.
Unfortunately, every good thing has to come an end, and the water park had to close at 6pm. But so does the buffet and the row boating the place had to offer. We were unable to try the second phase of the trip, the quiet and soul cleaning beauty of nature. That is my biggest regret in that trip. However, we were able to compensate that by the second trip we embarked to, Sodere Resort, which I will fill you all in the next article I write.