Ethiopia (April-May 2015)

5. Maryam Wukro to Hawzen

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To see the map below with a better resolution in another tab, click here.

To see all the waypoints in Google Earth, click here (.kmz file).

This page covers the section of the red path between waypoints 71 and 86.



Church of Maryam Wukro, believed to be one of the oldest churches in Ethiopia, and its priest. ″Wukro″ comes from the Geez word ″wekr″ that means ″to dig″. (Geez is the ancient language of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea.)


Left and middle photos: priest opening the door (note how the door was chained to a large log). Right: old blind man visiting with us.


Inside the church′s antechamber. First photo on the left, prayer sticks to lean upon during long services.



Magnificently carved ceilings in the church′s antechamber.



The central sanctuary contains an unusual canopied altar cut out of the rock. (The only other known such altar is in the church of Giyorgis Maikado.)


A small chapel, Wukro Giyorgis, is carved into the rock face above the church. It is accessed either by escalating the rock face (with the help of a fixed rope) or via a long wooden ladder. Left and middle photos: Gebru using the ladder to go down, while a child uses the rope. Right photo: drinking tella after the visit. (Tella is a drink brewed from various grains, mainly teff and barley; it is also referred to as ″Ethiopian beer″.)


Farmers on their way to their field near Maryam Wukro.


Gebrehiwet demonstrating his plowing skills.


Landscape after leaving Maryam Wukro.


A lonely spectator.


Another landscape.


Drinking tella, again.


More landscapes.





Church of Giyorgis Maikado (waypoint 82).



Lithophones outside the church.


Inside the church. Unlike in Maryam Wukro, the priest did not show me the canopied altar carved from the rock.



We set our 14th camp (waypoint 83) in view of the Gheralta Mountain, not too far from Hawzen.


Sunset from our 14th camp.


Mosque in Hawzen.


I spent two nights at the wonderful Gheralta Lodge (waypoint 86), slightly outside Hawzen. The lodge consists of several Tigraian-style buildings. It runs its own fruit and vegetable garden.


The Gheralta Mountain seen from the lodge early in the morning.


Sections of the trip (click on the links below to access the corresponding webpages):

-             1. Mekele to Maryam Hibeti

-             2. Maryam Hibeti to Abba Yohanni and Gabriel Wukien

-             3. Gabriel Wukien to Axum via Damo Gellila

-             4. Axum to Maryam Wukro

-             5. Maryam Wukro to Hawzen

-             6. Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham

-             7. Hawzen to Medhane Alem Adi Kasho via Abreha we Atsbeha


Return to main Ethiopia April-May 2015 webpage