I understand not everyone has a passion for geography like I do, but I feel that a pretty basic understanding of the political and topographical lay out of our planet is important to have. Some of you may be fellow travelers and geography nuts who are are reading for inspiration or trip research purposes but I think a large number are casual friends and family who just want to see where I am and what I’m doing. So this geography lesson is more about the latter group.
So, where am I going?
I’m heading to the horn of Africa first. This is the region of East Africa that consists traditionally of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. It has long been considered one of the most volatile regions on the continent as well as the entire world. In recent years the overall situation has improved with the exception of certain border areas and of course the chaos that exists in the southern Somali states. I’m specifically flying into Ethiopia via the capital city of Addis Ababa and making an overland journey to the northern portion of Somalia (Somaliland) hopefully ending my journey in the coastal town of Berbera. “The Horn,” as it is commonly referred to, jets out into the Indian ocean and Gulf of Aden just below the Arabian peninsula. This region is diverse in landscape and climate. I’ll find myself cooler in the Bole Mountains of Ethiopia and warmer the more arid regions surrounding the Ogaden and Somali deserts. I wrote a little bit more detail about this a few months ago here and I’ll certainly be writing in more detail along the way about the people and the politics but I just wanted to show where I’m going first.
I implore anyone reading and enjoying this blog to take out a map and really get an understanding of where I am. Very few in western society know much about the Somali people outside of what the media shows. Along the way I hope to get a better understanding myself and to shed the concept that Somalia is just a land of chaos, savages and piracy. While these things certainly do exist, there is always a deeper story.
I leave in 4 days…