|Over and Out|
Sat 24 Apr
Back in Asmara I buy a newspaper, find a patisserie, and enjoy a lazy breakfast of croissants, fruit juice and strong black coffee. Later I take a taxi down the beautiful, breathtaking escarpment road towards the coast (2300m descent in 100km). At some point the road is closed and we're forced to park-up and watch the impressive "Tour de Eritrea" on their penultimate day cycling up the escarpment.
The Red Sea port of Masawa sprawls from mainland on to two successive islands. Many old Italian and Arab buildings have been "rearranged" by the Ethiopian shelling in 1990 but people and the busy port seem to have recovered. Men on the coast wear shorts or skirts, but maybe that’s just a sailor thing.
Sun 25 Apr
I take a local boat out to Green Island, a sliver of land with mangrove trees and a sandy beach; well away from the port. I enjoy lazing and snorkelling among the colourful fish and coral. The water is extremely warm, and not at all refreshing, but it still feels fantastic after my long and dusty journey across the Sahel.
Mon 26 Apr
At breakfast I manage to find a lift back to Asmara. However, it comes with a bonus swim, this time further up the coast at a resort called Gurgussum beach. We also have a posh lunch (white tablecloth, white wine) before embarking on the drive back up the escarpment to Asmara.
Tue 27 Apr
Well that's it. My sojourn is complete. Tonight I fly to Nairobi and tomorrow on home to London. The challenges have been faced, the objectives achieved. All that remains are the well rehearsed antics of catching planes, tube-trains and a bus to the end of my road. My thoughts are teased already with what lies ahead: will the lawn need mowing? will there be milk in the fridge? and where shall I go next?
|Over and Out|