In the Amharic language of Ethiopia, Imet Gogo means ”place of great beauty”. It is an understatement. From the summit of the most famous vantage point in the Simien Mountains, the cliffs drop away almost a kilometre into a vast mosaic of green fields, yellow wildflowers and rust-red peaks shaped like chess pieces.

It’s a view that has been likened to the Grand Canyon, with elements also reminiscent of Monument Valley. The scene might be described as breathtaking, except that the altitude here has already sucked away most of my breath.

Far away on the horizon, swimming in cloud, is Ras Dashen, Ethiopia’s highest mountain and one of the highest in Africa.

It looks impossibly distant and yet three days from now I should be over there, in the clouds, 4550 metres above sea level – assuming my lungs and legs will carry me.

I have walked for three days to reach Imet Gogo, hiking through one of the most abstract mountain-scapes on Earth. The Simiens’ deep canyons and cliffs are cut into unnaturally straight – almost architecturally straight – lines. Each day the views have built from excellent to exceptional, the escarpment-edge track overlooking landscapes so enormous you half wonder whether the whole continent can be seen from this range dubbed the ”roof of Africa”.

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