1 Ziway - Zemni

That tin can scarecrow bothered me. Perched precariously high in a fork of the enormous sycamore tree, head glinting in the early morning sunlight.

As a scarecrow the careful concatenation of tins was certainly not very useful. The Marabou storks it was intended to deter had built a huge untidy nest right next to it. Ignored it as if it did not exist.

When I asked the hotel staff why it was there, they just smiled and shrugged. One of those many things that just happen, not to be questioned.

I stepped carefully over the droppings on the path, looking upwards to the awaking birds to see if more was to be expected.

Then continued down the footpath towards the lake.

It was a beautiful morning. Scent of jasmine on the damp air. A pet dik dik emerged shining white through the spiked fans of giant saw palms, then magically disappeared.

Through the bars of the gate I could see shimmering water, pink and orange as the sun rose slowly higher over the blue-grey hills on the other side.

Immediately in front was a path along a dyke. A boat was moored invitingly, waiting for customers. I opened the latch of the gate, walked through, and carefully closed it behind me.

Suddenly from nowhere a guard with a gun appeared. But he was friendly, smiled and said in broken English that yes, it was fine to walk wherever I wanted. Yes, there was a long beautiful walk, along the lake shore.

I set off happily, ecstatic, as if in paradise. I advance slowly along the dyke, so as not to disturb the many different types of birds - yellow ones, blue ones, some splashed with red. Some fishing, some flying high then swooping swiftly down. Some singing, some calling. Some just perching, watching, unobserved. I took pictures of everything, so I would not forget, could fill in details and names back home.

But quite soon - well before the lake - I came to a thick thorn fence right across the path. Obviously erected against outsiders. I could go no further. The sun was also now quite hot.

I turned back. Back to my room.

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