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Hiking in the Semien Mountains

It was a three hour drive from Debarq to our campsite in the Semien Mountains. We arrived at 11am and my cooking group prepared an early lunch using the food we shopped yesterday.

After lunch we went for a three hour hike leading us to a waterfall with an impressive height of 500m. The Semien Mountains are also home to thousands of Gelada Baboons which can only be found in the Ethiopian Highlands. During our hike we were able to observe lots of them which especially my Canadian tent / roommate Michelle enjoyed very much.

After arrival at the waterfall we were split into two groups of people. While one group went back to the campsite the other group including myself climbed another mountain. I really enjoyed the hike since we were mainly sitting in the truck during the last weeks and got only little physical exercise.

On the way back to the campsite we ran into the Dutch couple we have previously met on the ferryboat from Aswan (Egypt) to Wadi Halfa (Sudan). It’s funny how travellers meet each other again on the main routes several hundreds of kilometres away from where they originally met.

Fulfilling our cooking duty was a pain for my cooking group. It was quite cold outside and peeling three kilos of carrots which are as small as one of my fingers simply take ages. We also suffered from the altitude since it takes much longer to boil water and our gas stoves are not very powerful. It literally took us more than one hour to get a pot of water boiling and another two hours to cook the potatoes… So it took us a total of four hours to cook dinner which usually only takes one to two hours. Some people were already starving and so our cooking group got quite some attention. At some stage we figured out that the campfire is somewhat hotter than our stove and so we decided to cook the rice on the campfire which speeded up the cooking process.

The night in the tent was somewhat cold and it was the first time I had to put my Icebreaker thermals on and appreciated my warm winter sleeping bag.