The police station outside of the village was deserted. It was past 11:00 am and the heat had already brought life to a complete standstill. So Liza and Heidi went to look for the very chief to get our permit for the Danakil.
The atmosphere in the village was not really pleasant. The jeep was soon surrounded by people and a kid grabbed a water bottle from inside the car. Hundreds of men just seemed to be hanging around, doing nothing in particular but staring at the two women, one of them driving a jeep!
Besides issuing the permit, the chief’s job is also assigning a scout plus two armed guards for the two hour drive to Hamed Ale. Naturally, the tour company pays a sizeable amount of money for these people, who then pay a kick back to the chief.
The money is not always a guarantee for prompt paper work. That’s why Liza had brought a brand new Sony Ericson mobile phone, but the chief did not like it. So we ended up with a completely ignorant scout who did not have a clue of the area around Erta Ale and kept vomiting in the car…