Sunset at the lake

Danakil day 2, afternoon

The tour company advised us to bring a book and a diary for Saturday afternoon, when it would be too hot to go anywhere. The temperature reached 50 C, which is about 122F. Indeed, that is too hot to go anywhere.

Lunch was ready for us when we got back from the morning tour. They put on quite a spread today.


After that, a few of us decided to go see what the rest of the village was like. There was a small souk and a bar. We wandered over to the bar, where the proprietor scurried to shoo some non-drinking men off of a wooden bench. We tourists lined ourselves up on the bench and ordered beers and cokes. There’s no refrigeration, but the drinks came out of an insulated chest where they’d been warming up at a slower rate than the outside air. There was a generator, though, which meant we were able to enjoy our lukewarm beverages while watching “Ethiopia Has Talent.”


Then it was off to a shelter to nap until late afternoon.


Except for that one lively group who played hearts.

One of the cooks assistants asked me if I wanted meat with dinner. “Sure, ” I said. It immediately became clear why he was asking.

IMG_7218Around 4:30 we piled back into the cars. “We are going to the lake,” said the guide. “Wear your short pants and your sandals.” A lake? Seemed pretty unlikely, but OK.

Sure enough, it was a lake – a huge, shallow body of salt water, perfectly clear. The surrounding earth was covered in a crust of white salt that made the scene look glacial. Walking was painful for tender faranji feet, but it got a little better out in the water. The lake was so shallow, Andreas was able to walk out over a kilometer and the water was still only halfway to his knees. We stayed until sunset, then back to camp for rice with goat meat, and that blissful nighttime breeze.

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About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
This entry was posted in Around Ethiopia, Ethiopia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sunset at the lake

  1. Alberto says:

    Just astonishing. So harsh & yet there are people there! How on Earth do the Afar get their water––let alone enough to water the camels after their long treks? Are there wells? Do they distill?

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