East Meket and Gidan

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view from Aina Amba

 

This area is to the East of the road from Gashena to Lalibela and the plateau goes gradually higher and becomes more rugged.

The community guest house that links east and west Meket is Yadukulay.  This guest house is a great starting point for treks to the east. More details about Yadukulay can be found on West Meket page.

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Yadukulay perched on its hill

From Yadukulay (approx 2,600m) the trail into East Meket takes you down over a river, and up a steep escarpment. The trail crisscrosses up the slope, its a steep climb but does not take long until you emerge on the plateau top. Enjoy the well earned views and then carry on along the escarpment, gradually going upward to the community run lunch stop at Dufti Mariam. The altitude here is about 2,900m.

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Boya Mikael community guest house

There are great views from here, but still some walking to go as the plateau rises slowly to Boya Mikael, a remote Community Guest House at around 3,200m. Some of the trek takes you into the plateau in an areas surrounded by hills rising up from the plateau base. Boya Mikael guest house is set on the edge of a jutting out part of the escarpment, with an amazing sunset view.

From Boya Mikael the walk to Aina Amba heads eastwards and follows the plateau – parts of the walk along the edge of the escarpment with great views across the valleys towards the massif of Abuna Yoseph standing just behind Lalibela. Other parts of the walk are along the fields on the op of the plateau with all the farming life that goes on.

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Gelada baboons on the move (Alison Judd)

On the way if its a Monday you will stumble across a market set up in the middle of these fields at Waro Mikael, Waro is also the location of the community run lunch stop on the trail – a spot with the customary good views and simple local food. From Waro the trail follows the escarpment edge to Aina Amba, this is prime Gelada Baboon territory, hundreds of these photogenic apes live on the escarpment edges where they can quickly escape danger. They are great crop raiders so in the season when the crops are maturing ahead of the harvest the farmers are fighting to keep them away.

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Community guest house at Aina AMba

Aina Amba is built on a slight rise, on the north facing escarpment – there is a wonderful sunset looking over to Abuna Yoseph. Its quite high here – around 3,300m

From Aina Amba you can be picked up (or dropped off) as the road comes within a couple of km of the guest house, its about a 2hr drive to/from Lalibela.

There are two trails from Aina Amba, one continuing eastwards on the increasingly rugged and higher plateau to the community guest house at Kurtain Washa, the other down into the valley to the north, fording the two rivers, and climbing up to Geneta Mariam [Link] on the lower part of one of the spurs coming from Abuna Yoseph.

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Erica arboria woodland near Adisge church

The walk to Kurtain Washa takes a full day with a break for lunch at the community lunch stop at Melkidefer. It is one of the most beautiful walks with changing views as the valley below becomes narrower and turns into a narrow gorge. There is unusual vegetation too with some lovely Giant Heather (Erica arborea) woodland near Melkidefer  and the pretty church of Adisge. There are often fields of red hot pokers – a sure sign that the altitude has increased, along with the carpet of wild thyme under foot.

After lunch the scenery becomes ever wilder and feels more remote and high. This is still good Gelada Baboon territory, but you also stand a good chance to see other wildlife, klipspringer, hyrax, jackals etc. And as all along these escarpments mighty birds of prey can be seen soaring in the thermals: Lammergeyers, Black Eagles, vultures of various types etc.

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Landscape at Kurtain Washa

Kurtain Washa is the most recently set up community guest house – using the pervading local style for more oval less circular buildings, it is perched on a hill with commanding views west back down the gorge. It is set at an altitude of around 3,500m.

From Kurtain Washa it is a two hour walk out to the main road at a town called Ahun Tegegne, or a tough but wonderful walk down into the valley that separates the escarpment from Abuna Yoseph, the Tekeze Valley. The walk will take you down to the small town (big village) of Kulmesk, where you can have lunch at a local eatery, before setting off along the small dirt road to Geneta Mariam. its a long days walk, not for the faint hearted, but a great day if you are up for it.

 

 

 

 

 


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