Omo Valley 13/03/10

We left Yabello very early, the sun was still sleeping, the air is dark and chilly.

The road towards Karat Konso is a constant up and down, beautiful views and thorny woodlands caressed by the first light

We saw several Magpie starling, a fast White tail swallow crossing the sky chasing insects with incredible speed and many flocks of Vulturine guineafowls


As we keep entering the hills we started seeing Impala Lilies (Adenium obesum), but not the size we use to see in Tanzania, these ones are enormous as big as trees.

All around before the town we see huge terraces on the slopes of the mountains, it is the special skill of the Konsol tribe, they build walls of stone to hold the soil in order to cultivate this steep area.

We arrived in Karat Konso ready for a nice breakfast with Njera, eggs and mitmita, a bit spicy but a very good boost of energy.

We saw many Konso women on the way out of town, they are climbing the steep road each of them bearing the heavy weight of a load of grass

. They have beautiful cotton skirts and a tshirt that is more often ten not wrapped around the neck, they do not want to destroy what is a valuable piece with the friction from the ropes of the grassy backpack


Proceding on this beautiful road we keep climbing mountains up and down and eventually we reached a big open plain, this area is cultivated with cotton and we can see big fluffy mountains of the white fiber.

Back in the mountain again we had our first encounter with people of the Bana tribe. Women as usual bringing heavy loads. Their hairs a red with ochre, their faces beautiful, their smile sweet.

They wear a piece of animal skin all decorated with Cipreas


After the women we met the first man, AK 47 on one shoulder, the borkoto ( the stool that every man brings that is used also as pillow not to ruin the hair decoration) in the other hand, He is very fierce borthering aggressivity but really nothing worrying


It is a strange land were pristine tribes ask money for a picture, some people thinks that this is not right, I think that if things are done gently is completely acceptable.

In the thick of an acacia woodland came out of nowhere two beautiful young girls, they are decorated with beads and bare-chested

. Their eyes are deep and gentle, they wear their tradition with pride and their beads are messages that we may not understand but in their life convoy precise informations, their days are though, they do not have lot of what we reached but they still have lot of what we lost


We are going to the Dimeka market, where Hamer and Bana sell their goods, on the way we see Hamer women, again stunning people, hair plastered with red ochre, leather dress decorated with beads and cipreas, neck rings to declare thair marital status, two iron ring for a married woman, two rings and a conic decoration for the first wife


The market is colourful and interesting but there is too many people for me, kids holding your hand, boys trying to sell you this and that. Still a place I am happy I have seen.

From the market we proceed to Turme where we overnight, the lodge is very nice and comfy and also well run.


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