In Ethiopia, the rainy season is coming to an end.
I have decided that this year is the time when I want to celebrate Ethiopian New Year – Enkutatash (that is at 12 of September) in Addis Ababa. And that will be 2012! I would like to see lush green fields, flowering Meskel flowers, abundantly flowing waterfalls … and going to wander into the desert to look for volcanoes – Dabbahu, Erta Ale, Catherine, Dallol as well.
Short stories about some places of interest:
- Dabbahu Volcano (also known as Boina, Boyna or Moina) is an active volcano located in the remote Afar Region of Ethiopia. This stratovolcano is part of the Afar Triangle (Afar Depression), a highly active volcanic region which includes Erta Ale as well. An eruption on September 26, 2005 created a large fissure in the ground, known as the Dabbahu fissure. The eruption formed a 500 m long fissure and a 30 m wide pumice cone at the fissure’s southern end.
- Erta Ale volcano is a large basaltic shield volcano in the Erta Ale volcanic range in the central northern Danakil depression. It is famed for its persistent lava lake which has been active during most of the past decades since it was first discovered in the 1960s. Erta Ale is only 613 m high. The summit is truncated by a complex, elongated 1700 x 600 m wide caldera which contains vast lava flows and several larger and smaller pit craters.
- Gada Ale is a 287-meter stratovolcano built of lava and ash, and it has a crater lake full of boiling mud and sulfurous gases. Basalt lava from the volcano paints the surrounding terrain a dark hue, with the youngest flows being the darkest colors in the satellite image.
- Just southwest of Gada Ale, a 2-kilometer-wide salt dome has pushed ancient lava flows up to heights of 100 meters. To the south lies the Catherine Volcano, a 120-meter (400-foot) circular shield surrounded by a tuff ring (an amalgamation of volcanic ash). With gently sloping sides of basaltic lava, the volcano has been dated at less than one million years old. In the center of that tuff ring is a small, salty lake fed by thermal springs.
- Allolabad is dotted with steam vents and small craters of hot mud and hissing gases, but most beautiful are several pools of hot water. These pools have an unusual, deep green, blue and yellow color. They are incredibly deep and are filled with hot, steaming water. One of the hot water pools here acts as a nearly constant geyser – Allallobeda Spouter, which often is 6 m tall but in rare cases – even 30 m tall. Surface of the water in this pool is 97°C hot. Some more springs are pulsating, sometimes boiling more intensely.
You’ll say – I’m crazy. Maybe, but only slightly. One has to live, experience, travel and enjoy life and nature, and meet plenty of interesting people as well.
I will pack my backpack to go on my journey soon. And I will certainly share my impressions with you.