None of the parts has been beaten through a military way, but this war between the north Muslim government and the Christian rebels of the south had the highest cost: two millions of dead people and more than four million of refugees and exiles.
Several times I felt alone and lost. People are strange. When I needed to ask something many people answered impolitely “I don’t speak English”. But I nearly always found someone who helped me, his question before saying “hello” was what nationality I was. Then he smiled and told me “Maradona”!!
Obtaining the visa to enter to Sudan took me longer than I expected. From Eritrea my passport could not be sealed and I had to come back to Ethiopia. It meant to go back two thousand kilometres through Djibouti again.
During the last day in Ramadan, the main mosque of the city was attended by thousands of people to celebrate Id al Fitr, one of the most important celebrations in the Islam Calendar.
The Eritrean Struggle for Freedom lasted 30 years and it was known as the most pushful in the Horn of Africa. In 1991, the troops that belonged to the front popular of Tigrinya Freedom, which were armed and trained by EPFL got Massawa port. Thanks to this occupation, the Eritreans could throw away Ethiopian army of Eritrea territory.
My first target was to reach to Assab, an important city in the south of Eritrea. But most of its 80 km of the route are changeable; people who don’t know them, lost their way because the sand dunes move. This information plus my experience in danakil desert in the other countries made me rethink.
The desert of Danakil has several areas that are more than one hundred meters under the sea level. It is considered one of hottest and most inhospitable places of the planet. Its temperature can rise to more than 50° C, although by then, according to people, the months of cold were beginning. The temperature hardly rises to more than 40°C, I thought they were joking. Cycle there was an estupid idea.
Maybe you ask yourself how it is to move in the African capital cities looking for economical support. I really couldn’t imagine that I could do this someday. When I arrive in a city the first day, I feel that I am not able to get it. I see myself tiny in an enormous place where I don’t know anything or anybody, like a lost ant without any direction.
On my way, I met the people from the desert: The Afar, an ethnic nomad group that, during centuries, has been extracting and transporting salt with their camels, from the salt lakes of Danakil to the high lands of Ethiopia.
Lalibela is known as the city of stone or the Petra of Africa. There were 21 churches which were built in the end of the century XII and the beginning of XIII with a feature that make them different of all the world, being for the Christians orthodox a special place, for most of them a kind of Mecca.