Asmera . nl  
 
Eritrea May 2004
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
31            
next page >>   << previous
May 2004 - Celebrating the
13th anniversary of Eritrea
 
 

Agordat Eritrea - May 18th 2004

 

Using the animals of Keren as an alarm clock, I wake up at 5:30. I eat some bread and drink tea with Hansu. I tell her that I will try to go to Agordat and Barentu. I will be gone two nights,  maybe three. Have to think of the celebrations in Asmara too.

At 6:15 I am at the bus station. I am lucky. I have one of the last seats of a modern 30 seats Toyota bus. "Barentu, Barentu!" A boy is directing the last passengers to the bus. Again the passengers rearrange the seats, so a will have a better one.

Just before Agordat I have to leave the bus at the checkpoint. I am guided into a small office by the military. The permit is not valid for Barentu. I have to leave the bus to stay in Agordat. The Toyota bus leaves without me. I have to walk the last two kilometers to Agordat.

I need to find a better hotel this time. I follow the advice of the Bradt Travel Guide for Eritrea "In the center of Agordat is the hotel B. G. Selassie or Belamberas,  which is favorite amongst most travellers owing to the more than affable owner, Almaz. She is sure to look after your every need and  will make you feel more at home than in any other place in Eritrea." I leave my luggage with Almaz and take a shower, before I start to walk through Agordat.

When I walk to the catholic church two men invite me to drink tea with them. They ask a lot of questions, want to know everything. I am very close to the police station. Would that be the reason of their curiosity? Are they trying to catch spies?

I walk to the banks of the Barka river. Some local women react spontaneously. That tourist must be walking in the wrong direction, or he is lost. I explain I am going to the river. It is ok. The river is easily found. It is bordered by an unusual green nature, with many, many birds in various colors.

I follow the river for a few hundred meters. It is too hot to make a long walk. I change directions to go back to Agordat. A man in a Toyota pickup asks me where I am going. When a donkey cart passes, I share the seat next to the driver. After a short ride I have to get off. I get a lift of another Toyota pickup. On the back of the car I return to Agordat. When I recognize a familiar place, I ask the driver to stop.

I drink a few cups of tea at one of the tea shops. Then I am called to have tea with a group of people sitting a bit further. Most of them are military. They explain to me that the lady, who is selling the tea, wants me to marry her. Hiwet does not speak any English, so the military function as an interpreter.

I explain to them that I already have a lovely Eritrean wife. They are surprise and they want to know if Mebrat has teached me some Tigrinya. I try to count to ten, and mention all the animals in Tigrinya. "Who not take two wives, one in Holland and one in Eritrea", they suggest. I explain to the military that I don't think Mebrat will agree with these kind of souvenirs.

Other military, attracted by the conversation, have joined us. I order eight cups of tea for the whole group. Hiwet asks why I do not buy her a cup of tea. Good question. Why did I forget to buy her tea? She asks me to come back at 5:00 PM. I will not accept the invitation. I do not want to give here any false hope.

I continue my walk, slow and in the shade if possible. When I climb the hill to the Agordat administration, the military do not allow my to make more pictures. I pictured the administration at least five times this morning, so I climb the other hill to the Agordat hospital to make pictures.

Children are following me everywhere. I try to ignore them. Shopkeepers want to know my nationality and what I think about Agordat. Well, Agordat is nice, cozy, and friendly. Like every other Eritrean town it is perfectly safe to walk. But being one of the very few tourists, I am a peculiarity for the children. And the town is so hot. There is a strong breeze, but it is a hot one, sometimes increasing to a small sand storm.

Agordat is a small village, so just by coincidence I pass the market, and Hiwets tea shop around 5:00 PM. She is enthusiast. I try to create a large group by buying the military cups of tea. But they pay my tea instead. When I continue my walk Hiwet follows me and talks to me in Tigrinya. It is impossible to give any response if I do not understand what she's saying.

I use to judge the restaurants by observing what the local people are eating. If it looks good, I just order the same for diner. A salad and scrambled eggs. When I point the camera at one of the girls that is preparing my salad, she presents herself as the brave kitchen kitten. 

At the bus station men are decorating a camel with illumination for Independence Day. It will be dark soon, so I return to the hotel of Almaz. She is standing in the door opening, a bit worried because I was out all day. I think she expected me to take some rest in this heat.

Almaz and her sister make Eritrean coffee. I am one of the two guests. The other one is not in, so it is a small group. Almaz likes to talk. She is running the hotel with her sister. One brother in Asmara and one in Canada. The guests of the hotel and the birds are Almaz' children. Almaz returned to Agordat ten years ago to convert her family home into a charming, clean and quiet hotel.

 Almaz filled the fridge with a lot of drinks. After taking a shower (the water should be cold, but is heated by the sun), I drink a few beers with her. I hope it will help me to sleep.

 

Bar and restaurant - Agordat Eritrea.

Bar and restaurant - Agordat Eritrea.

Market for fire wood - Agordat Eritrea.

Market for fire wood - Agordat Eritrea.

Local children - Agordat Eritrea.

Local children - Agordat Eritrea.

Small traditional dwelling on the banks of the Barka river - Agordat Eritrea.

Small traditional dwelling on the banks of the Barka river - Agordat Eritrea.

Old man in traditional clothes - Agordat Eritrea.

Old man in traditional clothes - Agordat Eritrea.

Bedfort truck - Agordat Eritrea.

Bedfort truck - Agordat Eritrea.

Covered market - Agordat Eritrea.

Covered market - Agordat Eritrea.

Grande mosque - Agordat Eritrea.

Grande mosque - Agordat Eritrea.

Covered market - Agordat Eritrea.

Covered market - Agordat Eritrea.

Brave kitchen kitten - Agordat Eritrea.

Brave kitchen kitten - Agordat Eritrea.

 

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