Ethiopia: out of the desert !


It is another two days’ drive to emerge out of the Danakil desert. At first, we see a few green shoots, then houses which look a bit more “permanent”, finally trees and even a hotel !

Our first shower in four days (cold, not hot, unfortunately…) is at the Erta Ale motel, in the odd town of Semera. The administrative capital of the Afar Region, it comprises of a few concrete buildings and about ten petrol stations in the middle of the desert. The motel is wedged between a mosque and a petrol station so that we spend a rather restless night.

But after camping in the Danakil country, a night in a (relatively…) clean hotel has become a luxury. Never mind the lack of hot water, the muezzin calls to prayer in the middle of the night and the restaurant menu limited to goat only (goat curry, goat soup, goat cutlet, goat maitre d’hotel…).

Luxury is a relative concept (motel in Semera)

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On the way out

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Charles de Gaulle and Emperor Haile Selassie stayed here…a long, long time ago !

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