Simien Mountains

simien 2

If we are ever going to go on a hike together make sure it has some mountains to climb.  I love hiking up and down mountains – well, it actually need not be a mountain, so long as there are grand vistas involved.

Hiking in the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia is akin to riding a roller coaster.  At an average height above sea level over 3000 meters, the Simiens are no small feat.  Here, standing on cliff edges, birds such as the endemic Lammergeyer soar at your foot level, out over the valley below.  I was not prepared for the spectacular views, nor the freezing cold temperatures at night.

With this altitude and resulting cool weather, the valleys and plains provide for varying and unique environments – Gelada Baboons and Giant Lobelia; Walia Ibex and precipitous cliffs; mountain streams and Old Man’s Beard fern.

With a guard and gun we set off to hike from Chenek to Geech to Buyit Ras camps in two days and three nights.  Normally, we were informed at the parks office, this should take three days and done the other direction.  With plans in place and bookings made, we set off on our original ‘backwards’ itinerary.

This is my visual story of my journey through the Simien Mountains.

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simien 9 simien 10 simien 14 simien 11 simien 20 simien 17 simien simien 8Simienssimien 15 simien 21 simien 16 simien 18 simien 13 simien 4 simien 5 simien 6 simien 7 simien 12 simien 19The Simien Mountains nearly defeated my knees, but not my spirit or love for the beauty of this place.  I could have spent many more days exploring this mystical mountainous wonderland.

Erin.

PS. Thank you Dad and Janet for coming to visit and getting me to the Simien Mountains.

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