Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Drive to Aksum – Jan 1st


Sue and I woke up early to see the sunrise. Jupiter was still out and I had to take a photo of the moon.

I loved seeing the birds

and even caught one in my sunrise photo.

On our way out of the park at 8:30 this morning, Ayu drove the park ranger back to the town. We learned that not only did the park ranger have to accompany us into the park; he had to accompany us back out of the park.

Today’s drive to Aksum (also spelled Axum) was absolutely spectacular. The first part of it was 40 km of gravel road, but the amazing part was the hairpin turns all the way as we descended.

These photos barely catch the beauty of the fabulous views. It is very hard to take photographs from a moving vehicle.

I love this baby sheep.

We drove through villages and markets along the road.

This is the gravel road coming up to a curve.

The beautiful hillsides seemed to go on forever.

At least the gravel road was pretty smooth.

I like that rock formation in the background

I finally got a shot of one of the hairpin turns

We stopped at a viewpoint. In the distance you can see that even the paved road was had many turns.

The man shepherding cows in the valley below caught my eye.

When we stopped for a green doorstop on the side of the road, we saw a plant with this beautiful flower.

The views just continued and continued.

I loved the group of trees on the hillside.

I just never tired of the rocky terain.

Sometimes we passed small housing complexes.

And people doing their daily jobs.

And, of course, there were always the donkeys on the road.

Ayu is an excellent driver. We all know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and we very often took those curves on the left side of the road.

I continued to take photos of village people.

Ayu pointed out Ras Dashen Peak is the highest peak in Ethiopia and the 10th highest mountain in Africa. It reaches an elevation of 4,550 metres (14,930 ft.

There were many places where there had been rock slides and we just had to use the middle of the road.

In this area most of the houses are now made of stone because wood is not available.

The people grow sorghum in the rainy season. When there has been no rain for a couple of years, the government supports them.

The people we saw were busy doing the tasks involved in their daily lives.

There were many, many times when we had to wait for the cattle and other animals to get out of our way. These cattle are taken down to the river for water once every day. It is a wonder that we didn’t hit the goats that would run in front of the Land Cruiser. It is impossible to count the number we have seen. 

The fancy dresses that these women were wearing caught my eye.

We drove through an area that was inhabited by Eritrean refugees. We are about 200 km from the Eritrean border. Now that the treaty had been signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the situation has imporoved . The government in Ethiopia is democratic but Ayu said that the Eritrean government is a dictatorship.  I read that some Eritreans (especially those who left to escape national service) are afraid to return to Eritrea.

This is an Adam’s Apple or Sordum plant which produces fruit.  It is the same plant we saw at the top of the cliff that had the beautiful flower .

I found this structure being used as a carport very interesting.

Ayu told us that people cut the bark from the Banyan tree for frankincense incense.

These seems like a very small child to be tending a camel.  Camels are used in this area fro transporting goods.

I continued taking photos through the window of the Land Cruiser.

Each school day we have seen many children (mostly in uniform) walking along the road either going to school or home from school. School is mandatory in Ethiopia and the children go to school for ½ of the day. At the time we drove by this school, some children were walking home and some were walking to school. They seem to walk very long distances in hot weather and dusty conditions.

We stopped for lunch at the Shira hotel in Shira. I am now trying to learn the the word for “Thank you” in Tingray – ykinealay.

We arrived in Axum at while it was still light outside.

I have enjoyed seeing all the sites I have passed on this day.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

3 thoughts on “Drive to Aksum – Jan 1st

  1. Wow! That winding road…
    I admire your courage!
    Beautiful pictures!


  2. Amazing scenes…I’m enjoying vicarious travel. Ellen


  3. Glorious! What’s the name of those mountains? Ann


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