Mockha to Aden, Yemen
“I travelled from there next to the city of Aden, the port of the land of al-Yaman, on the coast of the great sea. It is surrounded by mountains and there is no way into it except from one side only. It is a large city but has no crops, trees or water, and has reservoirs in which water is collected during the rainy season.”
The 277 kilometer drive from Mokha to Aden is not especially memorable; Bab al-Mandeb, or “Gate of Tears”, located at the south-western tip of the Arabian peninsula where the Red Sea meets the Arabian Sea, is the graveyard of many an ill-starred ship, hence its sorrowful name. Today it is nothing more than a collection of tumbledown wooden shacks. The excellent asphalt road peters out before it reaches town which remains unpaved.