Ethiopia (April-May 2015)

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

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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 (final) section of the red path between waypoints 86 and 105.



After two comfortable nights at the Gheralta Lodge in Hawzen we resumed trekking along a path north of the Gheralta mountains.


Between Hawzen and Abreha we Atsbeha we traversed mostly farming areas.



Big fig tree.


Along the way we saw a rather large number of camels.


Such a green lawn is so unusual in Tigray that we could not refrain from lying on it for a while.


In the village of Abreha we Atsbeha. It is regularly connected by buses to the town of Wukro some 17 km away.


The church of Abreha we Atsbeha (waypoint 95b). We put our 13th camp (waypoint 95) just below the church.


Floor layout of the church of Abreha we Atsbeha.


The church′s facade with its protruding entrance and its monumental double door mounted in an opening cut out of the rock.


The inside of the church is huge and quite impressive. The pillars are very well cut.


The scenes in the ornamental wall paintings are much more complex than in other rock-hewn churches of Tigray.










Celing vaults decorated with gashes cut in the rock and painted with ocre (in the hollows) and whitewash, to represent crosses.



Wood seats, prayer stick finial, and ceremonial drums.


Leaving Abreha we Atsbeha toward Medhane Alem Adi Kasho. The church of Abreha we Atsbeha is behind the rock cliff in the middle of the photo.


A modern church painted with the Ethiopian national colors.


Landscape near the church of Medhane Alem Adi Kasho.


The path in the rock leading to Medhane Alem Adi Kasho.


The outside wall of Medhane Alem Adi Kasho with the priest.


The unusual and beautiful facade of Medhane Alem Adi Kasho.


Church ambulatory and patterns carved in its ceiling.


The priest proudly demonstrating the original locking system of the door leading into the core of the church.


The ceiling of the core is particularly rich in carved patterns.






We visited Medhane Alem Adi Kasho on a Sunday. After religious services, local people use to meet around injera and tella. Below, women bringing injera to such a meeting.


At the meeting. Men and women are separated, except for the women who serve food and tella in the men area! Such a meeting lasts many hours; so, although tella has a low degree of alcohol, many participants end up somewhat drunk.



We set our 17th and last camp (waypoint 104) between Medhane Alem Adi Kasho and the road connecting the towns of Adigrat and Mekele. On that evening the pump of my stove broke. Gebrehiwet cooked our final dinner using this convenient terracotta brazier borrowed from a local farmer.


On the next morning we hiked the short distance to the Adigrat-Mekele road, where we stopped a bus that took us directly to Mekele. At Mekele′s bus station we took this bajaj to our hotel. End of the trip.


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