The last afternoon, the usual dead silence in Hamed Ale was disrupted by yelling and shouting. A truck full of soldiers stopped, picked up villagers and off they drove towards the sulphur fields of Dallol. Eventually we understood what caused this disruption: an Italian tourist was somehow responsible for starting a smouldering fire in Dallol. It spread below the surface and could not be stopped. Speculation went wild until we met other tourists who were there at the same time: it was not a burning cigarette thrown into one of the millions of cracks, as first speculated, but this idiot had tried to light sulphure to see if it would burn.
The only “good news” was that this happened on the path leading to Dallol’s most beautiful section, so long term consequences were not likely. Nevertheless, everybody had to leave the place because of the thick smoke. Since sulphure fires cannot be stopped that easily, the army was told by the authority in Addis Abeba to let it burn off.
Later on, we heard that the Italian tourist had been arrested and put in jail in Berahile, not exactly the place you would pick for an extended stay… That evening Lisa briefly mentioned the Djinn again…
Comments are closed.