Dunkil desert,Ethiopia //
A journey back in time in the hottest place in the world, which is also a wonder of the world
Photography: Arala Yoel
No one prepared us for the spectacle of the basaltic lava lake boiling in the volcano Erta Ale,In the Afar hollow in the Dankil desert, on the Eritrean border. Nor to the impossible kaleidoscope of shape and color created by the mud compounds and sulphurous oxides bubbling in nearby Dalol Lake.
The residents of the area, enviably beautiful people, live in a place that the National Geographic reporter called "the cruelest place on earth." They herd sheep as in the days of Abraham our father, they mine salt and transport it on camels, and they observe the custom of the hazar - the clitoral seal and the sewing of the labia with thorns. We started the trip - how could we not - at Lucy, the famous daughter of Afar, whose age is estimated to be about 3.5 million years old and which resides in the National Museum in Addis Ababa.
© Galia Guttman 2014