The journey is littered with burnt out tanks. In the early nineteen hundreds the Italians came. They built roads and bridges and beautiful art deco buildings all over Eritrea. They also brought apartheid. Nowhere in my African travels, North West east and South, has the scramble for Africa been so evident. The British bombed the Italian infrastructure. Russians provided tanks to attack eritrea and the cold war was fought out in the hottest part of east Africa. How anyone could sit in a tank in this heat is beyond me. Finally, in 1995, the Eritreans won their independence. But by that time there was very little to win but pride.
We pass the Roman Baths, now a shell were once the Itlaians bathed in the natural warm springs of massawa, past the broken down train station. These are all ruins. And as darkness falls, Massawa. The Journalist and I find an hotel . Massawa is hot. The breeze is hot. The red sea which we shall swim in, is hot. There is nothing here that is not hot.