A cheer bean to ripple through the crowd, and the singing and chanting intensified in volume as a procession of priests all dressed in beautifully elaborate tunics and carrying sparkling umbrellas entered the area. As well as the umbrellas, they were carrying with them that most holy of Orthodox relics: The Ark of the Covenant; the day had just taken a turn for the Indiana Jones.
Getting to Awra Amba was part of the appeal, given that its location is best described as ‘off the beaten track’. After the usual arguments at the bus station, negotiating prices and reclaiming our luggage from over-eager teenagers, we were able to secure a bus from Bahir Dar heading east. Without hesitation, our bags were tied to the roof, and we folded ourselves into a minibus ready for the mercifully short journey.