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.
In Addis Ababa I got sponsors, one of them was the Hilton hotel, were I could stay free. It’s unbelievable, but every hard stretch of my travel is followed by moments of pleasure. Sometimes I think that everything confabulates so that, in the right moment, things are a little easier.
More than 3000 years ago, the Queen of Ethiopia “Sheba” travelled to Israel to find Salomon. She had a child with him who was born on her return and was called Menelik, the first emperor of a new Salomonic Dinasty. Since then, the lineage of Menelik was kept in Ethiopia as in any other place of the world, till in 1930, Tafari, the new emperor, was crowned as the 225th descendent.
Mursi women have a particular way of decorating themselves, deforming their natural appearance. By tradition, they made a cut in the lower lip of the little girls and they put a clay plate inside which will be enlarged till the moment the girls get married.
The North of Kenya is an area of conflicts with long uninhabited distances and roads in very bad conditions, where there are strongly armed bandits. Many times, they intercept vehicles and robbed them.
I waked up with a torch pointing at my face and two teenagers telling me: “Money, money!”. I didn’t understand what was happening, one of them shook a machete while he took a stocking off his head, and the other threatened me with something that looked like a sword.