Gich Abyss

Thursday, January 01, 2015
Simien National Park, Amhara, Ethiopia
Lunch stop at the Sankaber trailhead camp site. Sitting overlooking at the edge of the southern escarpment, the view and peacefulness was really great.

We then followed the northern escarpment eastward, before descending a little into the Kaba / Koba Valley. After that we climb up before we reach Gich Abyss and continue over a narrow ridge to a cliff where we had a really spectacular view of the abyss towards the Simien foothills. On the far side a large waterfall cascaded downwards. This is where the Jinbar River plunges 530 m into the abyss. The slender cone of water kind of vaporized into a fine mist as it tumbled downwards into a chasm ... so deep I could not see the bottom. A group has abseiled down it taking 2 days camping overnight in a cave.

We were supposed to undertake a slightly different walk today but because of the condition of the road that our trusty Coaster would not have been able to handle, we had to amend our route. What most groups do is walk from our lunch spot to the waterfall where they would have lunch, then for those who wanted to continue for another 2 hours.

Despite that throughout our 14 km walk I knew that the road was often no more than 100 metres away, this didn't ruin the experience.

Walking albeit so slowly in the 5 hours as we had many, many Kodak stops, water stops, animal stops, lunch with that magnificent view down one of the side gullies, I am glad to have experienced a little bit of the quietness and serenity of the Simien Mountains. Yes, I can see why people come here and spend even more days exploring this untouched wilderness.

It took an hour to drive back. Yes, it would have been marvellous to have a 4x4 so that we could have done our original walk as our trusty old Coaster could not have coped with the road. Said farewell to BJ our local guide who was leaving us.

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