Thursday, April 17, 2008

A short walk in the Simiens - Day 2 - Sankaber to Gich, Ethiopia


The hired gun...

The haggard client...or Mao Zedong...or Akira Kurosawa sans sunglasses.

Them lands are real bad...

See them mountains in the background: the square flat top and the one that looks like a submarine conning tower? Yep. We are aiming for them on our little walk.

Forbidden fruiting bodies...

Animals have feelings too...what about plants?

First sighting of the ubiquitous and endemic gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada)

Hiking through the denuded landscape up to Gich.

Strange looking Lobelia sp. near Gich (approx. 3600 m above sea level). Haven't seen these plants since climbing Kilimanjaro back in the day. These particular Lobelia range from 0.5 to 2 metres tall.

Gich village. Gich your eggs here before heading to camp...

View outside tent. It's windy on the ridge...

Everything I own in the universe scattered about on the ground... The tent is strategically positioned behind the Lobelia for wind protection. pretty weak, eh?

Scouts, muleteers, cooks...etc. huddled around a much needed campfire...

Very tired once again. Started at 0730 and finished at 1230 in good time. Woke up at 0600. I know...it takes me a while to start up. All that time and I didn't have brekkie. I would have died for a coffee though. Or, maybe a tea.

For the first couple of hours, the view over the escarpment was incredible. We walked right along the edge. We reached a point overlooking the Gich Abyss, where the Jinbar River was supposed to plunge over the escarpment. It was a mere trickle. I felt ripped off but what could I do?

3 hrs. from Sankaber we took a left fork and dropped into the Jinbar Valley, eventually fording the tiny Jinbar River. It was here I greeted the only trekkers (walking the opposite direction) I saw on the trail today.

After a long break, soaking up the warm rays of the sun on slabs of riverbed rocks, we embarked on a long steep climb (600 m) through fallow, terraced fields devastated by erosion, passing Gich village to a barren, wind swept, isolated campsite. The wind came in fits and violent gusts. I'm not sure if the tent would last the afternoon let alone this night. All part of the adventure I guess.ed

The saving grace of Gich camp was the stonewalled cooking shack. It was here where I "cooked" up a lunch of tea and bread. I bought some eggs from local boys. I cooked them up for the crew. They seemed to appreciate them. Talked to the cook of another expedition. He gave me some of his extra pasta and tuna. Hell, diet between the have's and have not's didn't seem to vary much...

By nightfall there was a collection of trekkers (about 4 tents) here. All Europeans. Some off-duty nurses (eye candy) and a couple (Bob Dillan look-a-like) who hired horses for the trek.

Got to go shore up the tent before it flies away.


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Gich campsite at an elevation of 3617 m.

Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, Apr 17/07
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2 comments:

Steve H. said...

Nice camouflage. Anybody mistake you for a PLA scout? I hear they're active in those parts.

bubba said...

there more active in places like sudan and zimbabwe...