Pat and Tony are country people at heart and it’s always a joy to talk to them about various aspects of nature as we travel towards India. In this brief podcast recorded on a windy day we board ‘Full Flight’ and learn about their time back in the South Downs in the UK. Dog lead and binoculars at the ready…
In my last post on Massawa I made the bold statement that Eritrea was my fave country I have ever visited. This was due to a number of factors, not least the people. It’s anchorages like Freedom Bay, however, that make Eritrea a top spot for nature lovers and yotties. Freedom Bay was a large expanse of shallow water surrounded by incredible volcanic mountains. I suspect very few humans have ever gone ashore here. Even we only made it to one of the little islands and a spit of sand where I got some great shots of pelicans and ospreys. Another top anchorage and, finally, all the rally participants meet up together for the first time since Egypt!
Time to say goodbye to the people of Eritrea. Unbeknown to us as we continued down the coast of this beautiful country we would no longer meet Eritrean people, save for a few fishermen. Some of us did meet a few more locals, who were in need of some medication.
Massawa has some stunning architecture left over from the Italians who ruled for many years. Thirty years ago it was the first town to be liberated from Ethiopia and so many of these beautiful buildings were shot to pieces. Eritrea is, according to the UN, the second poorest country in the world. The buildings may be fine examples of architecture from long ago but the local people do not have the money to renovate their homes. Once these buildings fall down, that’s it, they’ll be gone forever.
We return to Massawa and Liz, bless her, went down with the nasty fever that was spreading amongst the yotties. It was a shame because she missed ‘Fenkil’, which was the 20th anniversary of Eritrea’s independence. We had originally been told that all foreign yachts were to have left Massawa before the president came to do his speech but we later learned that actually the town would like us to stay and celebrate with them. What an honour.
We finally leave Egypt, at least officially. Having done the paper work to exit Egypt we made our way southwards, only to run into some nasty southerlies. With a lack of protective anchorages from southerlies we opt for Luli, which is a good 13 hours away. Unfortunately this meant we made the anchorage at the end of the day. It caught us out and three boats hit coral, one with some serious consequences.