Debre Damo: The Pale Knight Rises

In the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises Bruce Wayne is told by a gnarled and pretentious old priest that to climb the wall of the monastery-cum-prison he must not wear the safety rope. He must climb “as the child did….without the rope…the fear will find you again.” Indeed just how else could Bruce “go faster than possible, fight longer than possible….without the most powerful … Continue reading Debre Damo: The Pale Knight Rises

Omo Valley: Mursi Tribe

Until recently the Omo Valley has been inaccessible to all but the most determined and wealthy of travellers. It is considered one of the world’s last frontiers. However, a hydroelectric dam, a sugar plantation, and rumours of oil in the hills have opened up the area to outsiders in the last few years, and with new asphalt roads giving easy access to the diverse array … Continue reading Omo Valley: Mursi Tribe

Omo Valley: Jumping the Bulls

How do I describe a day that now feels like an apparition, a heady day of images, sounds and smells that could have been a dream? In the Lower Omo Valley in southwest Ethiopia – one of the world’s last preserves of traditional tribes, where original practices and dress are still observed – we attended a Jumping of the Bulls ceremony. Constituting a man’s rite … Continue reading Omo Valley: Jumping the Bulls

African food – the best so far

The local cuisine of pretty much all of the countries we have visited so far has consisted of sadza, a thick mash usually made from maize meal, served with a rarely identifiable meat of questionable quality. Like the beer (see previous post), it has not been something to recommend Africa by. However, further up the east coast, from around Malawi onwards, enticing snacks appeared in … Continue reading African food – the best so far