Going, going, gone…the descent from Debre Damo Monastery

The ability to block out the unpalatable, however inevitable, is one of the more remarkable things about human psychology. So it was, after climbing up the rock face to get into Debre Damo Monastery. While I explored the hilltop and took in the views over the surrounding countryside, I put the descent out of my mind.

It was only when I got back to the entrance/exit point that the inevitable dawned on me. The view down the sheer rock face was disconcerting at best. Like a child who has climbed a tree, only to find themselves regretting it when its time to come back down, I felt like calling the fire brigade. Unfortunately, there was only one way off this particular rock…time to descend.

Looking nervous, with good reason, before leaving Debre Damos Monastery, Ethiopia, Africa

Looking nervous, with good reason, before leaving Debre Damos Monastery, Ethiopia, Africa

Nervous, Moi? Leaving Debre Damos Monastery, Ethiopia, Africa

Nervous, Moi? Leaving Debre Damos Monastery, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

The look on the man who supports your weight as you descend pretty much says it all…or at least, it seems to be saying, “this bloke’s an idiot.”

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

It is seriously vertical…and if I was those four men at the bottom, I’d consider relocating to somewhere less likely to result in death by falling tourist. If anyone was wondering, things like this are the reason for all the grey hair…

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

Leaving Debre Damos Monastery via the vertical rock face, Ethiopia, Africa

At the bottom of the climb were these men seated in the shadow of the cliff. They looked a bit like a panel of judges assessing the climbing abilities of tourists. I suspect they were fairly unimpressed with my efforts…

Looking unimpressed by my efforts, Debre Damo Monastery, Ethiopia, Africa

Looking unimpressed by my efforts, Debre Damo Monastery, Ethiopia, Africa

All but the last photo in this selection were taken by Boris Kester from the Netherlands, a fellow traveller who I met at Debre Damo.

2 thoughts on “Going, going, gone…the descent from Debre Damo Monastery

    • I have the utmost respect for rock climbers, I don’t think I could bring myself to do it. Your accident must have been terrifying, I was being supported by a rope and it was still an uncomfortable experience.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s