Cycling Python Valley

Python Valley.

Americans called it Python Valley. The Eritreans probably called it Dorfu Valley after the village on the far end with the same name. Its winding river bed looked much like a giant, sandy colored python laying down the center of the valley. Along the river, the line of a road long tugged on my curiosity.

The Asmara-Massawa road crossed over the railroad above the south end of the valley. The mountain dropped at 60, 70, and even 80 degrees from the railroad to the valley 2,000 feet (600 meters)below. Trains clung to rails on the mountain side.

... The remnants of an Italian road plunged into the deep valley. ... the road's edge dropped 800 feet (250 meters) at 60 degrees to a turn in the road. This drop was not a rock face. Rather it was broken gravel, fanning down the mountainside like a giant truck had dumped its load there. No guard rail protected one from a long slide. My motorcycle and I would not have stopped until we reached the bottom. I had decided that this was the day to drive into the valley and satisfy my curiosity. ...

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Copyright © 2002-2006 Mike Metras

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