Assab Eritrea - May 16th 2003
First thing I do is buy the return ticket for
next days bus to Asmara. I recognize the boy selling the tickets close to the
hotel. Again I will have the best seat, in front of the bus. Then I will try to
find myself a breakfast.
I have an appointment at 9:00 with Tekie, the
taxi driver. Together we try to find Hadgembes. After half an hour we find him
in one of the offices of the military. He received a new assignment and has to
do a lot of talking to get permission to join his brother in law. I hope I do
not bring him into trouble.
Before noon we visit Assab, the salt flats
and the oil refinery. Hadgembes will go back to the military. I will see him
late in the afternoon to say goodbye. I will walk through Assab on my own, using
the small map in the Bradt Travel Guide as a reference. It is hot. There is not
so much to see. No women who are waiting to feed me. Nothing spectacular
architecture, no adventures. Most people in Assab do not leave their house in
this heat, if not necessary.
At 16:00 I am back in the hotel to wait for
Hadgembes to say goodbye. I will bring back a letter to Mebrat. I am sure
she will be glad I visited her brother. He is in Assab for a long time. Saw him
in 1999 only, when he happened to be in Asmara, during my first visit to
Eritrea. Hadgembes will stay with me tonight. He explained the military that his
family from Holland is visiting him. They gave him permission to stay in the
We visit a bar in Assab and get drunk. Two
double araki's for a dollar. The local administrator comes to visit the bar. He
wishes to speak to the Dutch tourist. I do not know the reason. Maybe he is afraid I
am a spy. There was a war around Assab. Ethiopians trying to fight themselves an
outlet to the Red Sea. Hadgembes explains the situation. "So you are an
Eritrean by marriage. Welcome to the family!", the administator says. We have some drinks and at
10:00 we return to the hotel.
Municipality of Assab - sign of the Afar.
Little bar in Assab.
Tekie and his wife in their small grocery shop in Assab.
Port bar in Assab.
Small bookshop in Assab.
City Park Assab.
Salt ponds of Assab.
Former cableway connecting Assab salt
panes with the port.
Assab - Prepared for the 12th anniversery of
Kebal International Hotel - Assab Eritrea.