Friday, February 4, 2011

Castles, Caves and Churches

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I met up with two Aussie girls that were ripping through Northern Ethiopia so I decided to join. What have I been doing that will make you incredibly jealous?

First - a four day trek in the Simien Mountains complete with baboons, sheer rock cliffs, camping in the freezing cold and a cook that would make a Michelin star chef jealous at what this guy could whip up at 4000m.

Then a visit to Aksum where some old thingys are. Those old thingys are actually obelisks and stelae from the 4th century BC when Christianity came to Ethiopia.

After that, two days walking and climbing through the Tigray region to visit some churches built into the rock. One was about a 45 minute hike up to a cliff that we rock climbed... only about 5m but I still feel hardcore... where we crossed a short ledge to find our tippy toes hanging over a 200 meter (not an exaggeration) that went straight down. But, just looking over the ledge wouldn't suffice, nope - those crazy religious zealots had to shuffle their way about 20meters on a 1 foot ledge over that precipitous drop to carve a church in a natural cave.

And finally, la piece de resistance, the Danakil Depression - the lowest point in Africa and officially the hottest point on Earth. And people live there. In fact, they mine salt and load it onto a camel caravan that takes 2 weeks to walk to market. Also, if you thought your techicolor shirt in the 80s was totally tubular and that fluorescent shorts are still in style - you have NEVER seen color like the mineral deposits in the active geyser field in Danakil. Glowing and bubbling green water full of copper, red basins of iron and the brightest yellow you could possibly ever imagine of sulfur mounds. Truly one of the most spectacular natural sights I have ever seen on this Earth.

There, you are finally caught up, now please stop sending me emails asking if I'm alive. I'm just having too much darn fun to think about all of you ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment