First couple of days in Djibouti

Djibouti Travel Blog

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Well I have been here for a week (since 8 July 2009) and it seems I have been here a month.  The trip over from the US was a long one, and since the company I work for did all the coordination I was at their mercy.  I so much more prefer to handle my own travel affairs.  I was routed to England on a Delta flight.  In England I transferred to Kenya Airways (the Pride of Africa).  Here is where the adventure starts.  I go to check in and the representative asks me for my Visa.  My company told me I would get a Visa when I got into Djibouti.  The representative disagreed and refused to allow me to board, especially since I had no return ticket.

Many calls later, and I had a return ticket.  I had to sign some legal paper saying I would not sue Kenya Air if Djibouti did not allow me in country.  That taken care of I boarded the plane which was delayed an hour and a half.  Well the food is much better on Kenya Air than on Delta.  Of course at the next transfer point in Nairobi I was late in arriving, but they held up the plane.

Once I got to Djibouti I thought all the travel adventures would be over.  Nope.  The Visa.  I did not know I had to pay for it, I was under the impression my company had arranged for it.  Never ASSUME.  I coughed up $60 for a 30 day visa, which lucky I had the cash.  Normally I only travel with debit and credit cards; lesson learned always carry cash.

No doubt my luggage did not follow me, they preferred London.  I expected that so I had my carry on filled with necessary items.

The first impression I got of Djibouti is HOT.  It was noon when I arrived and it felt like South Texas heat at 3pm.  The medical staff at the gate took our temperature.

I was taken to the Palace Kempinski, one of the local hotels.  Wow.  I am not used to staying in high brow places.  I am a down to  earth sort of guy.  So this was a really nice experience.  I had a very good impression of this hotel.  Everyone was very nice, and professional.  Great food.

The drive to the Kempinski opened my eyes.   A lot of poverty in this part of the world.  I had read about it, but it is something to really see.

I of course could not sleep very well, but that was my fault. 

Day 2-  I am picked up for a ride to the company 'villa' located in town.  The 'villa' is nice, but the area is, well interesting.  It is as I imagined it though so no major surprise.  I was then taken to Camp Lemonier.  Now this ride was very eye opening.  Lots of trash and semi-homelessness.  People living in boxes made of cardboard, and thatch huts next to the railroad track that runs parallel to the airport and camp.  What really stands out are all the plastic bags that litter the landscape.  The ones that stores now use.  Horrible.  These things should be outlawed in every country. 

nik2blessed says:
oh how i know about surprise..hope your doing well brother
Posted on: May 11, 2010
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photo by: Bluenose