WADI DAWN, HADRAMAUT, YEMEN
6 - 6
Wadi Dawn - The Stoned Warrior
The winding road climbed up to the hill and our old Peugeot had difficulties to manage the steep slope. On the front seat Mister Abdullah fondled his Kalashnikov like a mother her baby. "No it is no joke" he said. Two Belgians were shot in their backs on this hill when they admired the amazing view into the valley. Wadi Dawn was nowadays a dangerous place and we did not save on our security: Abdullah with his loaded Kalashnikov was our insurance in the valley. He turned his head before we exit the car and smiled: "You are now members of my family and nobody will hurt you, as that would cause trouble for them". I was completely convinced and anyway everybody coming to Yemen has to be prepared for the occasional sound of gunfire - especially in the tribal areas of the central mountains.
From the hill the view was amazing: Mud brick houses clanged the steep cliffs and a green belt of palm trees filled the dry valley with life. It did not rain for a while and a hot and dusty wind blew in our faces. The heat was amazing. Abdullah took out his bag with qat - green leafs, which are chewed until you get slowly stoned, or "relaxed" how Abdullah explained it with his cheek full of green leafs. Of course he offered us some qat, but although it appeared good to get a little bit more relaxed, the fear of a horrible diarrhoea was bigger than the worries not to enjoy this amazing day because of safety concerns. I even liked the image of a stoned body guard guiding us through the amazing scenery of Wadi Dawn. Abdullah seemed to like it as well and hold his Kalashnikov high up in the air.