Walk along the edge of the array Ennedi
In this part, we will reach our destination - the mountain plateau of Ennedi, visit the home and study work of primitive people, look at the stone elephants and other picturesque arches created by the winds of the Sahara.
In the vicinity of our camp had seen the first harbingers of the imminent appearance of the array Ennedi. Huge boulders, supposedly granite, covered a very small area, only a couple of meters towering above the sand. Like the tip of the iceberg of the visible part it was far less that goes deep into the ground. It was the sort of islands, behind which soon had to show himself mainland.
Meeting sunrise in the Sahara among the boulders - a precursor of the appearance of an array of Ennedi.
At this time, we went at the beginning of the eighth. Nearest town Fada, capital of the eponymous region of Ennedi, located just 180 kilometers away, but given the quality of the road to the conquest of this seemingly small section could leave more than one day. All the fault is not even sand, and unfit to ride rocky soil. Often I had to slow down quite a long time to shake the stones, carefully cleaned from sand desert wind. A couple of times moved dry riverbeds, and scraps of Savannah. In one place unexpectedly met tsezarok. Small animals here expanse, no predators, and they in fact no danger other than humans, except that the jackals. But not so long ago there were to be found the lion of the desert (last time it was seen extinct animals in 1940).
On the horizon shows the first mountain massif Ennedi.
The wind lifted into the air fine sand dust, from which the mountains were enveloped in a light "fog".
On the way Omar met a relative, to move towards a jeep. To witness a conversation between two local very interesting. Their dialogue is a kind of tongue-twister in which each new line recite by turns. All this babbling short sentences do not contain breaks, and if rap was invented black, its origins are lost just as welcome culture Saharan nomads.
- How are you?
- How are you?
- Like at home?
- As a wife?
- As a second wife?
- As the first child by his first wife?
- How is your mom?
- As the camels?
And so on to infinity, and, the respect for the respondent, the more questions will be asked. Well, of course, that somewhere in the middle of this act the roles are reversed and the questions start to pour in the opposite direction.
Soon appeared the mountains grater - Ennedi plateau margin.
We made the first stop, and Omar led the show cave paintings. Petroglyphs of 3000 years, are widely distributed throughout thousands of kilometers around the north of the Tibesti mountains in the north and another in Libya. This picture in the open air gallery created by primitive people. Now it is impossible to determine which of the tribes inhabiting these places in the distant past, distinguished himself in painting, too nonuniform had a population of Africa.
The basic motive, can be traced in almost all petroglyphs, hunting and herding. Ancient artists carefully taken out of cows and bulls, riders with spears and shepherds. If you look back, it becomes clear where livestock herds were grazing at a time when only around sand and stones. Incredibly, a few thousand years ago on the sand here was fertile land, cultivated by the locals. Warming and desertification began much later.
Who is it? Alien visitors?
- Beautifully - I asked our cook.
- Very, - I replied.
- Tomorrow will be even better.
Wells and arches:
Appeal to posterity:
We continued along the edge of the array Ennedi. The local mountains are called Tuku, although I do not presume to assert - to utter the name of Omar quickly mixed up in my head. the Ennedi massif itself is composed of many parts that stretch for hundreds of square kilometers right up to the border with Sudan.
Who saw us from the top of the rock kids shouting rushed to the side of the road.
Bizarre flowing shapes reminded sandcastles.
In the shadow of the massive cliffs and we stopped for lunch. While Hama chopped salad tomatoes, we went to explore the nearby caves. Not surprisingly, among the numerous wasp nests we've got the next ancient drawings. Judging by the smoky vaults of the cave, the first people lived just as these natural homes.
View from the cave:
An unusually high figure. Unfortunately sandstone is rapidly degraded under the influence of rain and wind, in such circumstances, the petroglyphs are doomed to a slow but steady disappearance.
There was burning hearth:
Now the caves bred wasps. It is very likely that under their nests and buried drawings.
Soon we found a local children. Not daring to approach, as if they were stuck to the rock and enthusiastically watched by us.
Suddenly a sparrow flew in and sat down in the hat of one of the participants in our puteshest, if this is his nest. It seems he never met with people. How else to explain the complete lack of fear of man?
For two hours we arrived at the next well to replenish the water. Here again was an unpleasant story. First, some kid started throwing dung in places whose countless. Then a type useful to our only girl Mary (or Mariam, her named Omar), grabbing hands, DO NOT REMOVE and demanded to leave. Sure, let us imagine the same behavior against the women of his family would have serious conflict. Yes, and in this situation it did not come to blows only because of our guides. The oldest of them ICEM brought a stack of photos and began to show them to people at the watering, trying to prove that he is of these places that we visit. But this does not lead to anything, we had to hurry to finish with water and leave. At the watering was born the next phrase of the day, say in your hearts to the address of the type: "Come to my house and wave your hands in there."
Nomads at the watering tube belonged to nationalities. At first I had a suspicion that among them there are some beliefs about photography. Strange, but clear negative occurs when you try to photograph it camels (especially drinking), no one showed any emotion if we sent their cameras to the children or home. Omar said he had no beliefs and no ban for no reason, do not want to and all. I think he is cunning.
We continued our journey along the fabulously beautiful place. Sand with sparse grass, rocks of unusual shape - not like one another. And a lot of donkeys.
Only the last two years in the Ennedi possible arrival in order to travel to this array was closed to the public. And now there are some limitations. For example, let alone a group of five people. During this time you've been here only a few dozen people at the top of Mount Everest, and then there were more people.
Old mountains peeking out of the sand like poles, somewhere deep in the millennial sediments they are joined into a single array, like mushrooms in the mycelium. Over the years, the wind blew in from the tops of strange patterns, creating a true arch. We made stops at several of these arches. The latter even had its own name - Elephant, Elephant ie (on the cover image).
Truly cosmic forms.
Passing by a vertical cliff, we saw a monkey, quickly ran across the road and hiding in a cave. Yes, this is not the arrogant tvaryugi that steal from handbags careless tourists in Thailand and snatch from the hands of all edible or rustling. In contrast to the fearless sparrow, monkey we meet a couple of times on this trip were cowardly and avoided people. I do not exclude that they are eating, how many places in Africa.
Rocks of the island in a sea of sand:
Omar and ICEM:
A little later we were brought to another rock, painted petroglyphs. Here we first meet other tourists. In the shadow of a rest group of Frenchmen, apparently was surprised to see us. Not far from them were souvenir vendors with their trinkets, some nonsense in leather and wicker ware. No bronze, known in Mali or silver jewelry, which ply the Tuaregs, and certainly no masks, although the carving - a famous craft in Africa.
Petroglyphs were interesting earlier, with a clearly legible composition. Their writing was used a whole palette of colors, they were more carefully drawn details. The conclusion is clear: they were drawings "of late".
The day was in the evening, we got to camp at the foot of a huge mountain. The sun soon disappeared behind the horizon and blew a pleasant evening breeze. Here in the mountains of the heat it is not so strong, and the night is not as cold as it was before. Within minutes we came to the camp the next saleswoman souvenirs and do not imposing, and without any words spread out their wares at some distance. Such respect for the visitors should learn all sorts of hangers in many spoiled batch tourism countries. I bought myself some ancient thing - a piece of meteorite felts, roofing felts chip primitive stone tools. Here this stuff in bulk. Bauble cost me ridiculous CHF 1,000, or 60 rubles. Interestingly, the saleswoman did not know the value of their goods, and each time the question of the price referred to different figures, for a long time thinking about how much this unnecessary nonsense vtyuhat Mr. white.
At dinner, our cook prepared Hama wonderful pasta nautically. And for dessert was a mango.