MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Road Trip to Axum


Itinerary Day 08: Simien Mountains National Park-Axum
After breakfast, start driving to Axum through the beautiful sceneries of Simien Mountains, Limalimo, Tekeze River Gorge. While driving from Simien Mountains to Axum, you will have a brief stop at different parts of the park for the best view. You will have picnic lunch under the shade of the tree past the Tekeze River Gorge whilst enjoying the beautiful Simien Mountains scenery from distance. Past the Tekeze River Gorge whilst enjoying the beautiful Simien Mountains scenery from distance, you will have picnic lunch under the shade of a tree and continue driving to Axum.

Even google couldn't find the route
 Journal:  Another day, another road trip. 300+ kilometers from the Simien Lodge to Axum.  The story of this road trip is the road itself. The first part of the road out of the park was built by the Italians during the occupation from 1936 – 1941. Whatever else one might say about the Italians – good, bad or indifferent – they build good roads in tough terrain and they've been doing it since the Roman Empire.


The first part of the road out of Mountains is reminiscent of roads to be found in the hills of rural Italy. Very narrow, cut out of steep terrain, rock retaining walls and terraces, hairpin cutbacks winding down and up and down the shifting elevation with sheer drop off the shoulder.




 Then we ran into the construction. Virtually the entire length of the road from the Simien Mountains to Axum is under repair or being completely rebuilt. This meant the road ranged from rough, to really rough, to barely passable, to literally impassible as we sat and waited for a bulldozer to clear a massive pile of rock out of the roadway. Or wait while our guide Yohanes ran ahead of the car and help some locals push a boulder on to the shoulder (I would have helped him if I knew that was what he was intending - really). 


These pictures do not convey the nature of the road or the ride. I have some video clips that might do a better job, but since I cannot keep the blog up to date with the intermittent internet connections as it is, video additions will have to wait until we get home.




Lunch spot
 Highlights of the day were a “picnic” lunch break under a tree near the top of a pass, and the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at a roadside cafe when we finally got back on asphalt about 30 kliks outside of Axum.


Ahhh... asphalt.
Can't say enough about our driver Alex. He handles the the Toyota Land Cruiser like the pro that he is. Perhaps the best indicator of my confidence in his driving skill was simply this - While he was dodging donkeys, cattle, locals, buses, and trucks around the hairpin turns with sheer dropoffs, I was snoring in the passenger seat for some of  the 10 hour road trip.
Alex


Editors Note: I intend to pre-load and schedule automated blog posts with the daily itinerary for our Ethiopian adventure. For those interested, this may be an easy way to follow along. Since we will not have internet access for most of the trip, my hope is this will make it easier to add some pics and journal commentary if and when we run across an internet connection. If there are no pics or commentary, you'll just have to wait until we get back. We'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

Harlan said...

3 days, no updates. Hope all is well.