Asmera . nl  
       
Eritrea September 2002
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
next page >>   << previous
 
 2002 Touring through Eritrea
 

 

Afabet & Nacfa Eritrea - September 16th 2002

 

It is not difficult to get up at 4:00 in rural Keren. Cocks, dogs, donkeys, they all do their best to wake up the village. At 5:00 we walk to the Keren bus terminal. The bus will leave at 6:00 but it is the only bus serving Nacfa, so we have to be early to have ourselves a seat. The window of the back door is missing. A good opportunity to make some video while we are driving. The road from Keren to Nacfa is a rough road. The mountain is smoothed, but the asphalt is missing. The bus crosses a dry riverbed every once and a while, and I think what a spectacular journey it would be in the rainy season. We pass Hamelmal, Giz Giza, Kelamet and Felket.

After three hours the approach to Afabet is marked by the avenue of little, white-brick tree surrounds, which protects the Nim trees against the hungry goats. In Afabet the passengers, and the old bus, have a rest for 30 minutes. In a makeshift tearoom, barely more than a wall and a roof of many branches, we drink tea with lots of sugar. I walk a few hundred meters into this little town. Two half naked children are playing in the sand, looking surprised when I catch them in their game with my camera.

From Adi Shirum the bus follows the course of the riverbed of the river Hidai for some 30 kilometers via Kub Kub and Beyan. Naked rusty carcasses of Ethiopian military vehicles lie beside the track, as a result of an Ethiopian air strike on their own forces trapped in the valley in 1988 when the EPLF finally captured Afabet, the main supply depot and military intelligence center of the Ethiopian army in Eritrea. The last 10 kilometers after Beyan are a steep climb on a narrow road to the plateau on which Nacfa lies. I wonder what will happen if a truck is coming from the opposite direction.

At 13:00 we enter Nacfa, and I immediately recognize its famous mosque. The minaret of the mosque still shows the bullet holes of the war of liberation, as a living monument of the fierce fighting in and around Nacfa, the symbol of Eritrean resistance to the Ethiopian occupation. The rest of the town has been completely rebuild and looks neatly. We walk through the town and climb the hill on which the new Apollo hotel overlooks Nacfa.

I expected a rather surly attitude of the 100% Muslim population of Nacfa, but to my surprise the people are just as warm as in any other part of Eritrea. The climate is a bit cooler than that in Keren, because Nacfa is on a 1.800 meter high plateau, and there is nothing that stops the wind from blowing freely.

I ask a camel driver how much it will cost to ride on the camel. He wants to charge me 300 Nacfa (20 dollar). Gebre tells me this is to much. I will wait until we are back in Keren. All of a sudden the "AllahUAkber" sounds from the mosque. We watch the men performing their daily obligatory prayers. In the evening the town circle with its beautiful flowers is lighted by many white bulbs and the fountain spurts its water, while the bars around the roundabout are playing traditional Eritrean music.

Gebre arranges the return tickets to Keren for tomorrow morning when we see the driver of the bus. We eat and drink lots of araki and walk through the center of the city. Music is blaring out from inside every cafe, everybody looks happy. At 21:00 we go to the hotel Halhalle where we have a small room for 30 Nakfa with two beds, a table and a chair and an outside toilet (just a hole in the ground) and bathroom. We have to get up very early. I wrap myself into the mosquito net. It is to late to install it properly.

 

Riverbed crossing the road to Afabet and Nacfa.

Riverbed crossing the road to Afabet and Nacfa.

Little tea and coffee bar at the stop over in Afabet.

Little tea and coffee bar at the stopover in Afabet.

Main street and famous mosque of Nacfa.

Main street and famous mosque of Nacfa.

Triptych describing the war of liberation around Nacfa.

Triptych describing the war of liberation around Nacfa.

The outskirts of Nacfa on top of one of thethe hills.

The outskirts of Nacfa on top of one of the hills.

1996 Apollo hotel Nacfa on top of one of the hills.

1996 Apollo hotel Nacfa on top of one of the hills.

Woman washing clothes in the river passing Nacfa.

Woman washing clothes in the river passing Nacfa.

March 23rd - Nacfa - basis of our liberation - our banner - our currency.

March 23rd - Nacfa - basis of our liberation - our banner - our currency.

The children of Nacfa.

The children of Nacfa.

The town circle - Giro Fiori  Nacfa.

The town circle - Giro Fiori Nacfa.

Postcard of Nacfa Eritrea - Symbol of Eritrean resistance to Ethiopian occupation.

Postcard of Nacfa Eritrea (completely destroyed in the
years of the war, being under continuous bombardment)
Symbol of Eritrean resistance to Ethiopian occupation.

 

 
| Home & index | Top | Contact | Next | Previous | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2011