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Mekele to Hamad Ela Camp

We flew to the upland city of Mekele to begin our journey into the Afar. This city and surrounding regions reminded me of Tucson, being a high desert with lots of desert foliage. As we descended into the big valley, we passed thick sequences of limestones and other ocean floor materials, and passed the camel trains carrying salt up to Mekele. Everywhere we went, the kids gathered to see what in world we were up to. We stopped off in the frontier town of Berhaile, and stayed the night there on the way back. This place could have had cowboy hats and saloon gunfights and it wouldn't have been out of place. Our far-flung camp, Hamad Ela, sat at the edge of the Dallol. It was low and hot, and, I thought, beautiful. On our way back up to Mekele, we visited one of the famous churches carved into rock at Wukro (it was carved into aeolian sandstone, good idea!). Gete told us some of the interesting history of the region, and we also visited Yohannes' castle in Mekele. There are three pictures in the Mekele airport because we spent seven hours there. :)

Here are my favorites:

Kids Camel train Berhaile saloon
Camel train starts Breakfast Drinks
Hairdressers On the road Rock hewn church

Some videos of driving and Gete in front of the church:

All pictures are below:

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Please credit Jani Radebaugh for all pics/vids, thank you!