A Trip to Tadjourah
Djibouti Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
November 6th, 2009 – by: txaggie
The drive north takes one past a landscape that is vast and barren. Rocks cover a large majority of this land. Everywhere there are boulders, and stones. The thing that will strike you as odd is to see a wall of rocks, just a small wall that someone built for no apparent purpose; perhaps boredom? These walls are just out in the middle of no where, just there.
In the vastness there will be a single hut out in the rocky plains.
The road from Djibouti City to Tadjourah is for the most part very good. How do the Djiboutian's do it? In the USA a highway in this same environment needs to be constantly repaired, and yet here there are little resources for maintenance and little is needed. There are a couple of spots where new construction is occurring so one drives on a dirt slightly rocky road for about 3-5 km. The road goes into the mountains and up in elevation it goes. The views open up as it gains height and one can see over the area. On this trip there was a strong haze in the air, so the view was a bit matted. This road goes past the Djibouti grand canyon, Lake Asal, and hot springs.
The road is not a direct route to Tadjourah, and signs are very infrequent. A turn will need to be made at the arch way, so look for it on your right.
I was struck by several small small subsistence farms next to the ocean. I realized that this was the only land that was not covered in rocks. These small farms have their own water well, which I can not help but think must be salty from tidal influence.
Tadjourah is not a Caribbean paradise, and it is much smaller than Djibouti. It brings with it a small town feel. What the visitor needs to do is find a teenager who will act as a 'tour' guide. There are plenty to be found on the main road. English may not be perfect, so just use the basic words, "Tourist area, beaches" and they will take you. Cost will be dinner or whatever money you think this service is worth to you (think 500 DF). The best places are hidden away. The water here is absolutely gorgeous. I lived in Pensacola and Panama City Florida, I have spent time in Key West and the waters Tadjourah rival all of these. In waist deep water you can snorkel and exotic and colorful fish that compare to any national aquarium found anywhere. The water is crystal clear, and the fish are not skittish.
Is the trip to Tadjourah worth the 3 hour drive? Yes it is, and driving in my mind is preferred over a boat ride.
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