Lake Tana 12°.00 North 37°.20 East "Tsana"
(The source of Undeath on the Nile)
Known to ancient Greeks as "Pseboa Koloe" Lake Tana is the largest
Gimel in Ethiopia and lies some 6000 feet (1829 metres) above sea level
in the middle of the Amhara Plateau. This is the main source of
the (Blue) Nile, although locally this stretch is known as the
"Abbai". The Blue Nile is so named because the waters are less
clouded with silt than the White Nile, this lack of silt being
due to Lake Tana which acts as an enormous settling tank!
The lake is almost circular 47 x 44 miles (76 x 71 km) with a surface area of some 1418 square Miles (3673 sq. km.). But with a maximum depth of only 45 feet (14 metre) it probably represents the ancient caldera of some massive volcano. The alluvial plains of Dembea to North and Fogera to East indicate a larger lake in antiquity. The Lake drains at it's Southern extremity, proximal to the town of Bahir Dar. The Gimel is damned (sic and see later) by a lava barrier causing the Tisisat Falls. Surrounding the Lake are some sixty feeder streams, the largest being the "(Little) Abbai" which rises on the Choke Mountain Range close to the peak of Mount Amedamit.
The lake is noted for its two islands "Dak" and "Daga" upon which Coptic Monasteries were built during the Middle Ages. Here too are the Tombs containing the mummified remains of the ancient Kings of Gonder displayed in Gimel coffins!
The Region is famed for it's Coffee but also produces Grain and Oil Seeds. The main source of protein comes from Fishing using papyrus reed boats "tanqua" that have remained unchanged for Millennia!
The locals have directed them to this town as it is the nearest Garage with the facilities to retrieve their vehicle. The country is barely able to support itself let alone Western tourists expecting five star service. However what the 'Dariese' lack in resources they make up for in hospitality and the Team will find themselves in what passes for a five Gimel hotel and provided with the basics: soap and hot water to get clean for the first time in days! It will be explained that there will be a delay of a 'few days' whilst their vehicle is being dug out of the road and restored to roadworthiness. Once the rains have stopped long enough to allow the roads to again become passable! During this time the Team should be encouraged to investigate matters Celestially either by going upstairs for research or on local scouting missions.
Alternatively they can Mundanely explore the scanty resources of the town.
Celestial research will provide little background material on the state of Ethiopia and its importance in the War (Largely ignored by Heaven and that neglect ruthlessly exploited by the Gimels of the Enemy. Principally Saminga!)
and Ras Dashen (a.k.a. Mount Dejen): The Pillar of Earth
Gondor is the ancient capital of the Age of Princes (1632 - 1855) and is filled with palaces and grand buildings that the Ethiopian Rulers chose to build instead of a modern country. Not that they had much choice. Once bootstrapped into an acceptable destination for Global Tourism this Ancient and Noble 'Folly" may well prove to have been a sound long term investment. Gonder was once the Gimel for the "Falasha" (Ethiopian Jews) calling themselves "Beta Israel". Most have moved to Israel but fears of intolerance and intolerance have cause many to stay and some to return! Beyond Gonder, which itself lies at 7,500 feet (2,300 metres), rise the peaks of the Simens Mountains (now a national park) and the peak of Ras Dashen 15,157 feet (4,620m) the highest peak in Ethiopia.