Ethiopia (April-May 2012): Mekele-to-Lalibela-to-Debark trek (page 8 of 8)

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Map. (Click here to access the waypoints in Google Earth. Click on the map to get a better-resolution picture of it.)








1. Mekele

2. Melber

3. Adigueba

4. Samre

5. Finaroa

6. Sara

7. Chakra

8. Samara

9. Mailomi

10. Sekota

11. Wouala

12 Hass

13. Hava

14 Bilbela

15. Lalibela

16 Daria Johanes

17 Mari

18 Azila


20 Amusit


22. Tekeze river

23. Chinamba

24. Archwa


26. Salamiyi

27 Dorona



30. Debark


Leaving Archwa.


Between Archwa and WP #25. This was a steep climb in an area close to the Simien mountains, with beautiful escarpments.






Church, priests, and nun (last photo below) in a village at WP #25.

"Singing ′Alleluia′ everywhere does not prove piety." (Ethiopian proverb.)




View of Ras Dashen (4550m). It is Ethiopia′s highest point. Its climb is known to be tedious and the view from it to be less than remarkable.


Escarpments of the Simien mountains between WP #25 and WP #26.






Farm scenes between the villages of Salamiyi (WP #26) and Dorona (WP #27).







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Here people are digging a ditch on the uphill side of a field. Water accumulated in this ditch during the rainy season (soon to come) will later be used to irrigate the field before the crop is harvested.


Houses between Dorona and WP #28.



Women and men on their way to Dorona (photos taken between Dorona and WP #28).




Aloe vera.


Fat ox. As we were getting closer to Debark, the land looked more fertile and well-watered. Animals were no longer skinny.


Brewing storm near WP #28 announcing that the end of the dry season was approaching.


People returning from a market held at WP #28 (the location of our next camp).



Arriving at WP #28 in the mid-afternoon. The market was still very active, but an increasing number of people were already leaving.




In the market.







As I feared, I quickly became the main attraction and the entire market was disrupted... the point that two armed militia men came to my ″rescue″. But they looked more scared than me. In fact, the crowd was cheerful and everything went well. The crowd was happy to see me, I was happy to take pictures, and the militia men were happy that nothing bad happened.


Negussie had some family at WP #28. Here he sits in front of his father (on the left).


Farm and fields near WP #28.



Between WP #28 and WP #29.






Girl at WP #29.


Between WP #29 and Debark (WP #30).




Rare water hole in a river.


View of Debark, with a new road under construction in the foreground.


Arriving in Debark.


Negussie′s wife welcomed us in their house with a coffee ceremony.


Photo of the group in front of Negussie′s house. From left to right: me, Negussie, Gebru, Mulat and Gebrehiwet. A brother of Negussie stands on the right.


In the evening of our arrival in Debark we had a big rain storm, the first since our departure from Mekele.


Negussie and Mulat stayed in Debark, their hometown. Gebru and Gebrehiwet left a couple of days later and returned to Adwa, their hometown in northern Tigray (near Axum). I took an early bus to Gondar, some 100km south of Debark, on the next morning.


At the end of his trip, he feels profound friendship for these people who shared his life, the eyes of whom are strained by scrutinizing far horizons too often, for the swarms of shouting children who untiringly see each instant as a lifetime excitement, for the wind that flattens campfires and swells tents, for the trees of the savanna that are shaped like large umbrellas, for the mountainous sculptures of the desert, for the tepid water extracted from the wells, which one must drink despite its bad taste because there is no choice, but also for the crystalline mornings, for the intense heat of the days, for the bloody dusks, and for the nights that fall suddenly.

(Adapted from the last paragraph of ″Caravanserail″, a novel by Charif Majdalani.)



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