Field Recording Trip in the Ethio-hinterlands: Day 9 of 10

November 7, 2014

IMG_2343Exhausted from the previous day’s work, we lazily drank coffee and ate inqulal firfir before packing the vehicle and driving to Sekota to try and find Quino’s phone, which he had forgotten at the ful place. Perhaps due to the generally languid state of the group, the drive back was even more nerve-racking than the first leg. We clearly hadn’t tied things down as well as we should have, as my backup went flying at one point. Fortunately, it didn’t go over the cliff. We, however, had a very close call about an hour later as we climbed up the mountain to get back to Sekota. Mesmerized by a stunning view, Jonathan almost didn’t take the turn (one of the tires started to dip into the ravine). After we all screamed, he quickly steered away from the abyss back onto safe purchase. For the next hour or so we were all white-knuckled and on edge.
IMG_2353Nevertheless, we made it back to Sekota, had a ful, found Quino’s phone, and managed to cool our jets. We then continued up the road, aiming for Mekele, Tigray. The journey was jaw-droppingly beautiful. Staggeringly huge red cliffs, long plateaus and deep valleys that resemble the IMG_2371Arizona mesas gave way to massive expanses of crimson desert, with cactus, giant fig and baobab trees IMG_2358emblazoning the rugged landscape. At one point, a windstorm swept across the valley we were driving through, kicking up immense billows of red sand. In the background, dark, ominous storm clouds sent paroxysms of violent slanted rain in our direction. Yet as quickly as it came, it disappeared again.
Around early evening we landed in the newly developed town of Abi Abdi, where we decided to hole up in a little pension outside of town, have a meal nearby check out the local music scene (which turned out to be pretty much non-existent). A modern, predominantly muslim quarry town, it is clearly flourishing thanks to the construction boom in the country. We ended the night with a beer in some dimly lit bar with deafening ethiopop blasting out of gigantic speakers, and ambled back to the pension to hit the hay.

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Sol y Sombra Recordings
Sheba Sound

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