A 15 birr bus takes about an hour to travel the 30km over the worst road from the bus station in Bahir Dar to Tis Abay town.
From there, a mandatory ticket (50 birr adult / 20 birr student) gives you permission to enter the waterfall area.
From there you battle with the twenty plus guides who tell you the path is difficult to find. We had one such guide, Thomas, he made a couple of birr commission on some beers and that’s all we resolved to give him.
We walk past the local market, where hundreds of people have gathered to sell their goats, vegetables and other goods.
Thomas keeps trying to get us to pay him to go to the falls, we walk in what we assume is their general direction (there are no other roads). When we ask locals the way to the falls, he tells them in Amharic not to tell us.
Eventually we bump into some other tourists who confirm the path to us. Thomas feels tricked, but we let him tag along anyway telling him he can practice his English but we’re not giving him any money.
Some local girls are selling knitted handkerchiefs along the path, we offer them Thomas as a husband, they laugh and say they know much better guys.
So do we
We get to the falls, a mere trickle due to the dam, Thomas asks for money. We laugh at him, he was useless as a guide. Eventually he says that he’ll NEVER guide Russian tourists again. We feel like we’ve done them a favour, and hope we never see him again.
As we head back to town, we pass all of the villagers heading back from the market.
We catch the bus back, and get drenched in the downpour walking the hundred metres from the bus station to our hotel.