Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hottest inhabited place on Earth

Happy to share a few pictures of the hottest inhabited place on Earth, up in Ethiopia.  Beautiful in lots of different way!

"The Danakil Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle or Afar Depression in Ethiopia, a geological depression that has resulted from the presence of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa." -Wikipedia 

While we were there, the temperature routinely went above 45 Celsius / 110 Fahrenheit.  But so beautiful!

Lots of guys harvesting salt from the salt lakes; tough labor for very low pay (13 cents per block, then it's carried by camels for 60 km and sold for $2.25!)

I loved taking photos of the people there (and more great pictures!)

More salt and camel pictures:

Sunrise was beautiful, but the suns rays were so harsh even at 6am!

A bit toasty.

Then we went over to some hot springs nearby (no bathing, serious stuff!)

Had to bring some guards because there's been some issues with tourists and Eritreans, apparently (a while ago). 

Finally, we hiked up a live volcano: Erta Ale -- this means I've been to two of the only six active lava lake volcanoes in the world!  This one appeared briefly in "Clash of the Titans"

"Not much is known about Erta Ale and the surrounding terrain is some of the most inhospitable on Earth making travel difficult and dangerous." - Wikipedia

See the red smoke in the distance?

Hiking after sundown to get to the rim:

The good stuff!

I loved hiking down the next day, to see the frozen lava folds:

Big risk of falling through this stuff all over the place -- plenty of people on our trek with bloody shins including me, from falls of roughly 5 inches up to 1 foot.  SUPER sharp rocks.  Not very safe.

And I loved looking at some of the iridescent lava rocks up close!

And even upper-closer!  :)

And some awesome windmills to take all the wind generated from the sun's hot rays!

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