Ghinda Eritrea - September 28th 2005
Just before 6 o'clock in the
morning I catch the first bus to the center of Asmara. In a small grocery
store I buy some fruit juice and biscuits as a breakfast. The bus to
Massawa leaves at 7 o'clock. I will get out at Ghinda, 45 kilometers from
The Asmara-Massawa road will
be the first road in Eritrea where users have to pay a 'Road Users
Charge', as a means of cost recovery for infrastructure maintenance.
I ask the driver to stop just
before the bus passes the bridge, so I can enjoy some of the landscape as
well. Children are giving me directions. "Where are you going? they
ask. "To Ghinda" is my answer. Thinking I am lost they point at
When I enter the town, I take
a side-way uphill, leaving the main road. Children are following me, men
ask if I am ok. Guess this is an unusual route for a tourist. Again they
ask "Where are you going?" I point my finger to the top of the
hill. No further questions. Just curious kids.
After half an hour I think it
is time for a tea break. When I pass a house, and wonder if it is a bar or
not, I am invited to come in. I drink tea with and start a simple
conversation with the women and the children. I have another tea and want
to give them 10 Nakfa.
Asmeret tells me it is to
much. I have to drink some coffee as well. Although it does not fit into
my diet, I cannot refuse. I drink three cups of coffee and ask if I can
take some pictures, so I will remember them when I am back home. I have to
send them a copy as well. We exchange addresses and I continue my walk
The path to the mosque is very
steep and tiresome, but seen from above, there is a good overview of
Ghinda, so one will have a better idea for further walks. I visit the
compound of a school and the local market at the bus station. From there I
have a ride with a donkey cart to the railway station.
Back at the bus station there
is some confusion. I have to buy a ticket and wait for the next bus. To
many passengers. The procedure is not clear to me. They must have read my
desperate mind. "Get in!" one of the men orders me, and points
to one of the last empty seats.
Without any further delay I
return to Asmara, where I have some Asmara beers in Bar Selas and a number
10 pizza in Terhas' Pizzeria Eritrea. Apart from the fact that Terhas'
pizzeria serves good pizza's (starting from 18:00!) for a nice
price, she is well aware of the nature of my trip to Eritrea and therefore
a good source of tourist information.
Landscape - Ghinda Eritrea.
Water supply - Ghinda
Street life - Ghinda Eritrea.
Coffee ceremony with an
Eritrean family - Ghinda Eritrea.
Main street - Ghinda Eritrea.
Uphill mosque - Ghinda Eritrea.
School buildings - Ghinda Eritrea.
Local transport - Ghinda Eritrea.
Steam shed - Railway station
Local market - Ghinda Eritrea.