Known as the Djibouti road (ጂቡቲ መንገድ), the asphalt road that connects Awash to Djibouti City crosses a hauntingly bleak landscape of parched plains, ferocious sun and barren scenery. Besides some occasionally beautiful vistas, a fistful of unassuming towns and a rifle-toting Afar tribesman or two picking their way through acacia scrub, there’s little to stop the perpetually curious spiralling into a free fall of boredom.
This is not the road less travelled: countless Ethiopian trucks ply this route to and from Djibouti, and because it is such an important corridor the road is in excellent condition.
For visitors the Djibouti road is mostly used as an access route to the Danakil Depression or Djibouti. It also provides access to a series of beautiful but underrated shallow lakes that lie south of the town of Asaita.