Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New year to all. Update on South Omo Valley

You will have noticed that emails and and pictures have finally started flowing again. Lots of hassle and great relief.
On Tuesday morning as we were about to leave Konso we met James and Emily who are cycling from London to Cape Town. They have a blog which you can find ....... London2capetown.
Our drive to Turmi was about 30 km on tar and then the 125 km of dirt road started. The road was very corrugated and areas potholed. The scenery was great as we were driving along the Rift Valley, very flat and mountains on our west side. We finished off with some difficult driving over washed out sections of road, through dry river beds and more. Spare a thought for James and Emily who would tackle this on their bikes.
We arrived at Turmi and camped at the Hamer Community Camp Site (Mango Camp).
The following day we attended a Bull Jumping Ceremony. The ceremony started with dancing by Harmer women. To our shock some of these women were whipped on their backs by young men with sticks. Blood flowed. This ritual inflicts them with permanent scars that increase their value prior to marriage and earns them respect.
The young man who is to earn his right of passage to manhood is prepared, 8 cows are lined up and he then has to jump naked onto the cows and run across 6 times.
This is followed by celebration over two days.
Our next visit was to Jinka from where we visited the Mursi tribe in the Mago National Park. They are famous for their lip plates. The bigger the lip plate the greater is the value of the woman. A very disturbing sight.
Tomorrow we are heading out of the Omo Valley towards Addis overnighting in Arba Minch. Thank heavens no more tribes.
We have enjoyed traditional Ethiopian food. It is extremely rural here and we are always very amazed to find a restaurant with such good food and well supported by tourists.

Sent from my iPad