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2003 - Part of the family
 
 

Assab - Tio - Foro - Massawa - May 17th 2003

 

At 4:30 I am at the bus station, as instructed. I do not want to miss my bus. Two nights is more than enough for Assab. At 5:30 we leave. Although I have the best seat in the bus, it is on the wrong side. I will try to change during the trip, to have a good view on the Red Sea.

The landscape is changing every half hour. Volcanic structures, sand dunes, lava fields. During the trip the other passengers get used to this Dutch tourist. No problems to change places when we pass the Red Sea. The bus is changing colors during the trip. When we started it was blue. At the end of the trip it will have the same color as the desert. My body and clothes also get extremely dirty due to the sand dust.

Again we have several flat tires. It seems quite usual to borrow a spare wheel from a lorry that is passing. The lorry will take the flat tire and some Nakfa's to repair it.

Just before sunset, we arrive in Foro. The passengers will sleep in Foro. I inform the driver I will take the last bus to Massawa. It is enough for me. No further time to waist. I do not want to spend another night in a primitive hotel and prefer the luxury of the Dahlak Hotel in Massawa. The bus is packed with men and women and luggage, which makes it a cozy trip. They all do their best to give my some room to breath.

I take a shower in my hotel and change clothes. Then I walk to downtown Massawa to try to find myself something to eat in restaurant Eritrea. They serve good food and you can eat it outside if you wish. I will also try to find Saba, the lady bartender. Remembered her from my last visit to Massawa. She was deported from Ethiopia a few years ago and is now working in bars in Massawa. I find her with the help of one of the locals. She has her own bar now in a remote area downtown. And I make a big mistake to visit her.

She is petting my legs and charges me a lot of money for the two araki's I drink in her bar. She explains the rest of the money is for the Heinekens she and her uncle drank. I doubt that they actually drank Heineken. And I did not invite them to drink Heinekens on my account. It must be a trick to collect a lot of money from naive tourists and sailors. But I do not want trouble with her and her "uncle", so I pay and try to have some fun in some of the other bars in Massawa.

I have learned my lesson. Pay for every drink and don't wait until the party is over. A beautiful Eritrean girl sitting in front of a little grocery shop invites me to eat with her. If I do not want to eat I have to drink. Afraid she is just another whore, or want to have a visa to Holland, I friendly suggest "Maybe we will meet tomorrow, now I have an appointment" and try not to meet her again.

 

 

Volcanic structures in the Denkalia dessert.

Volcanic structures in the Denkalia dessert.

Lava lake and scattered vegetation - Denkalia dessert.

Lava lake and scattered vegetation - Denkalia dessert.

Sand dunes and scattered vegetation in the Denkalia dessert.

Sand dunes and scattered vegetation in the Denkalia dessert.

Restaurant - Tio Eritrea.

Restaurant - Tio Eritrea.

Saltish water draw well - Tio Eritrea.

Saltish water draw well - Tio Eritrea.

Satellite tv - Tio Eritrea.

Satellite tv - Tio Eritrea.

(Open air!) beach hotel in Tio.

(Open air!) beach hotel in Tio. Slept last night in a similar "hotel".

Fishermen's hut in Tio.

Fishermen's hut in Tio.

Mangrove forest near Tio.

Red Sea coast Eritrea - Mangrove forest near Tio.

Laguna at the Red Sea coast.

Laguna at the Red Sea coast of Eritrea.

Changing a tire in the Denkalia dessert.

Changing a tire in the Denkalia dessert.

Stopover in Foro, 50 kilometers from Massawa.

Stopover in Foro, 50 kilometers from Massawa.

Restaurant Eritrea - Massawa

Restaurant Eritrea - Massawa.

Saba, sneaky lady bar tender in Massawa.

Saba, sneaky lady bar tender in Massawa.

 

 
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