Bridge to Shaharah Mountain Fastness

The tiny hamlet of Shaharah mountain in the Amran Governorate of Yemen is so remote you need to know the coordinates 16°11′1″N 43°42′12″E to Google Earth it. There are no street views as we are accustomed to in the west. The best that I could do was play with the amazing simulations until I came up with this.

shaharah mountain, map, google earth
The Mountain Fastness of Shaharah BY Google Earth

The Mountain Fastness of Shaharah

The road bypasses the small town on its journey from Al Mayqa’ to Ar Radum as if it could not be bothered to scale the heights. If it did, it would find ‘nothing’ there save a view of bulging mountain swells and achingly hot plains to the north. The village comprises a few stone houses and a cistern carved from solid rock.

Only One Footpath Leads to This Isolated Spot

A long time ago, in the 17th Century or so the story goes, a wealthy local lord created a series of footpaths to connect the tiny villages under his rule. This may have been to collect taxes or reinforce military power. The local people prevailed on him to build a bridge across a gorge so they could defend themselves against approaching attackers.

shaharah mountain
Shaharah Bridge: Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Path Leading Down to Shaharah Mountain Bridge

Time was gentler when they built that footpath. There was time to attend to details, although I think the people that built the arch across the 91-meter-deep gorge were brave. According to legend, the local people know how to collapse it within a few minutes. Lips are sealed. They cross the bridge every day as part of their daily routine. The only way for backpackers to get there is to catch a bus. And then you climb the steps… best travel light or hire a car.

shaharah mountain
Footbridge in Shaharah, Yemen: Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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