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Valley Low….

Anyone who though birdwatcher were wusses…sheesh! This was the toughest driving of the trip following a road that our guide book say  no-one but birdwatchers  take… Yabello -> Arero ->Negela Borena – > Rira -> Sanetti Plateau ->Dinsho

Didn’t help that I was sick, and Kerry still not 100%. Leah, of course, was chirpy as anything.

Lots of thoughts about Ethiopian Rural political economy. As usual too aesthetically based, still need to marshall my thoughts a little – having finished the Marcus history, it s as clear as the mud the on the landy…

Oromo Village, Near Yabello, Southern Ethiopia

Oromo Village, Near Yabello, Southern Ethiopia

We’d had our first puncture in Yabello that morning, and got lost after Arero. This route isn’t on T4A…  We ended upwWild camping.  A little scary, we’d travelled a few hundred kms towards Somalia by this stage…

Wild Camping in Ogaden

Wild Camping in Ogaden

This is endemic birding country. Saw a few flocks of Stresemans Crow (more like a white wattled starling), and a flash sighting of Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco after an enforced tea stop the next day..

Broken Bridge near the Genalle River, Southern Ethiopia

Broken Bridge near the Genalle River, Southern Ethiopia

Onto the Harenna Forest, and the Bale Mountain National Park…

Through the Harenna Forest...later than expected...

Through the Harenna Forest…later than expected…

Specifics: In Yabello we stayed at the Adonay Pension. Friendly but no water and pretty untidy. Go for the Yabello Motel, farangi rates notwithstanding. We wild camped somewhere south of Melka Guba, after deciding accom options in Arero didn’t appeal (or , as far as we could tell, exist).In Negele Borena we stayed at the Nile (Nayili) hotel. OK rooms, ghastly toilet. Try the Green Hotel (Gariini Hoteeli) rather.The route we took is covered in the Bradt Guide, but isn’t on Tracks for Africa. I will submit the GPX to t4A when i get back, but ping me via this site if you want our tracks before that. We got pretty lost, and its *not* obvious where to go with all the roadworks. It s a tough road but a do-able one (obviously). There was one river crossing that was trivial while we were there, but I assume could be tricky following rain.

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