Ethiopia (April-May 2015)

3. Gabriel Wukien to Axum via Damo Gellila

Return to main Ethiopia April-May 2015 webpage

 

To see the map below with a better resolution in another tab, click here.

To see all the waypoints in Google Earth, click here (.kmz file).

This page covers the section of the red path between waypoints 14 and 47.

 

itinerary-3

 

Just after leaving our 5th camp (waypoint 14) we crossed many villagers going to a market, probably in Werkamba. I stopped and took a few photos. My interpretation of the scene in the rightmost photo is the following: the man is trying to sell a chicken to the woman at a reduced price (if he succeeds he will not have to carry the chicken to the market and he will have immediate cash to buy other products); the woman is interested by the discounted price, but wonders if she may get a better chicken or better deal at the market.

DSC06469

DSC06470

DSC06471

 

School along the way.

DSC06473

 

Women walking in the sun.

DSC06475

 

Traditional farm.

DSC06477

 

Soon after passing this farm we reached a small village named Tabia Selam. There a policeman (the only one in the area) confiscated both my passport and the IDs of Gebru and Gebrehiwet. It soon became obvious that he wanted money from me in order to return them to us. I refused and many hours later, in the evening, he finally gave us back our IDs without any counterpart. It was too late to resume hiking and we set our 6th camp in the village (waypoint 17).

 

The trail after Tabia Selam crossed hilly terrain with many ups and downs.

DSC06484

 

DSC06490

 

DSC06491

 

Farm on a hill.

DSC06487

 

Farms amidst extremely steep terraces (?).

DSC06494

 

We then reached a river where we all (Gebru, Gebrehiwet, our two porters of the day, and me) bathed and washed (waypoint 22).

DSC06499

 

On the other side of the river we climbed steep terrain, mostly through dry, narrow gullies. We only found this small source where Gebrehiwet filled several bottles.

DSC06509

 

Landscape, terraces, and farm further up.

DSC06510

 

DSC06514

 

DSC06516

 

DSC06515

 

After crossing a pass we reached the nondescript (but very friendly) village of Gwala Goulo at the bottom of a small valley. We put our 7th camp near the school (waypoint 26).

DSC06528

 

Paintings on the walls of the school buildings.

DSC06518

DSC06519

DSC06524

 

On the next morning we had a gorgeous sunrise, here seen from my tent.

DSC06521

 

Soon after leaving Gwala Goulo we passed by a well equipped with a pump, the village′s main source of clean water. Women were active pumping water into their ubiquitous yellow jerricans.

DSC06532

 

We ascended another flank of the Gwala Goulo′s valley and reached a pass facing north, offering a beautiful view toward Damo Gellila (the big rock formation at the center of the picture). The location of Damo Gellila is marked with an orange pin in the map at the top of this page.

DSC06533

 

Later we reached a plateau. We passed by a number of farms where people (often young kids) were active plowing fields.

DSC06539

DSC06542

 

Another view of Damo Gellila in the background.

DSC06547

 

Looking north to the southern portion of the so-called Adwa Mountains. These ″mountains″ are a collection of differently shaped rock formations created by erosion. They spread over a relatively large area east of the town of Adwa.

DSC06549

 

Another view toward the Adwa Mountains, as we were approaching the village of Edarga Amous (in an area called Kurkura). I was told that the large construction in the middle of the photo was the remains of a house owned by a governor in Emperor Haile Selassie′s time.

DSC06552

 

Kids in the village of Edarga Amous. Although the village was not very large, there were many young kids.

DSC06562

 

DSC06563

 

Unusually large house in Edarga Amous. I heard that it had been built by an Italian during the Italian occupation of this region (1936-41). We set up our 8th camp in this village (waypoint 39).

DSC06561

DSC06560

 

Sunset seen from our camp in Edarga Amous with Damo Gellila on the right.

DSC06566

 

DSC06567

 

On the next morning we left accompanied by a family from Edarga Amous.

DSC06573

 

DSC06574

 

We stopped by this relatively clean river where we washed ourselves and a few clothes (waypoint 40).

DSC06581

 

As we were getting closer to Damo Gellila, the rock formation looked increasingly impressive.

DSC06577

 

DSC06593

 

A woman and her donkey.

DSC06637

 

We put our 9th camp under this tree (waypoint 44) near Damo Gellila.

DSC06606

 

Gebru at the camp with Damo Gellila in the background.

DSC06608

 

Damo Gellila seen from the camp at two different times in the evening.

DSC06615

 

DSC06630

 

Leaving our camp toward Axum.

DSC06638

 

Along the way we passed by several ambas (flat-top mountains).

DSC06644

 

DSC06648

 

The impressive sight of high-schoolers leaving ONE school as we reached Axum. There are several such high-schools in Axum, each with its distinct uniform: blue, brown, green.... (Ethiopia′s fertility rate was still 4.64 in 2012, compared to 4.78 in Eritrea, 3.26 in Bolivia, 2.71 in Morocco, 2.21 in Bangladesh, and 1.88 in the United States.)

DSC06658

 

For more photos in Axum see Section 4 below.

 

Sections of the trip (click on the links below to access the corresponding webpages):

-             1. Mekele to Maryam Hibeti

-             2. Maryam Hibeti to Abba Yohanni and Gabriel Wukien

-             3. Gabriel Wukien to Axum via Damo Gellila

-             4. Axum to Maryam Wukro

-             5. Maryam Wukro to Hawzen

-             6. Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham

-             7. Hawzen to Medhane Alem Adi Kasho via Abreha we Atsbeha

 

Return to main Ethiopia April-May 2015 webpage