When we were on our way to Anjouan, we had envisioned hikes on the island. But when we wake up the morning after our arrival, we hear rain coming down on the roof; outside, a grey sky is hanging low above the sea, and the mountains behind the town are hardly visible. Fortunately, the skies clear, and we walk to the main square where minivans leave for destinations anywhere on the entire island. We want to go to Bambao, which we think is not too far. It turns out there are 3 places called with the same name; the only minibus going there only has two passengers without much happening around it. We do not want to waste more time, and decide to go for a walk in the town. Walking up a street, we somehow end up next to Mutsamudu river, where people are washing their laundry and themselves, and chicken are looking for something to eat.
We notice a trail next to the river, and decide to walk further up. Boys ask us if we are going to the waterfalls, and without giving it a further thought, we give up on Bambao and start hiking. For a while, a young man accompanies us, and we reach a small waterfall. When the trail ends, we talk to another young man, who is kind enough to explain that we can cross the river, and continue hiking until Hombo. That name strikes a bell: it is the village from where Mount Ntringui can be climbed. The guy even draws a small map, and we are on our way. A steep climb through the tropical vegetation takes us to some kind of plateau, and we follow the trail towards town. We reach a lookout point from where we have good views over the small harbour, the town of Mutsamudu, and the hills in the distance. We walk down the stairs a little bit for even better views; you can go down all the way back to town if you want.
But we want to continue to Hombo, so we climb the stairs, walk the trail uphill. Good thing here is: we walk on a ridge, and the trail is quite open, allowing for nice views of the mountains higher up. Mount Ntringui is covered in clouds, though; but we soon spot Hombo. A little further on, we see a gracious, tall waterfall coming down the narrow canyon of the Mutsamudu river. We are happy with this alternative hike: the hinterland of Mutsamudu offers plenty of rich nature to be explored! We reach a road, where women and kids are busy breaking small stones; one man is hanging on the slope of the hill, hacking away rocks that can be pulverized. We reach the village with some authentic houses, talk to some people, before we discover an asphalt road with cars and motorbikes. The town is not as remote as we had thought; after drinking a coconut, we walk down the road, back to the coastline and Mutsamudu.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Hombo hike (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Hombo hike.
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