Dawn, Erta Ale Crater, Afar Depression, Ethiopia. Like the ripped seams on a baseball, the Afar region is where Earth’s crust is splitting apart. The 700m volcano is one of the most active in the world and helps mark the continually changing geology of the Great Rift Valley. Erta Ale is not only in the most inhospitable place on Earth, it is also one of the most remote inhabited places on the planet. To get there is a journey in itself: a two-hour, bone-jarring Land Cruiser drive over an extensive lava field is followed by a three-hour hike up to the crater rim, at night, to avoid the 40°C+ day time temperatures. My hiking buddy for part of the way up and down was the back end of a camel, plus a very pleasant German couple, two young women from Japan, and a former reporter from Guildford, UK.