Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Monday, April 25, 2011

Somaliland - Road from Hargeysa to Djibouti

Day 109
Djibouti City
16262 km since the beginning of the journey.

It was said that the road from Somaliland to Djibouti would be poor. In retrospect one can say that it is not true, because in some places thare is not any road at all. There are kind of wheel trails going in the direction of the neighbouring country.

Between the two countries the passangers are taken over by 4x4 LandCruisers and the big lorries carry the goods. Considering that a lorry can pass through - then the distance should be driven because usually fully loaded trucks don`t drive along sand dunes.

So the case was decided. The first bit of road.

Dry riverbeds.

This is before another riverbed. And fortunately it has not rained lately. Otherwise passing through would have been quite a problem here.

A good example – why not drive in the dark here. It is quite hard to get the car back from this kind of a 1,5 metre hole. Usually this kind of bigger holes are marked by rocks or branches.

This is a more decent place.

Another example of what can happen in the dark. This accident took place last night. Fuel truck from one side and public transport between the two countries from the other side. The large car was practically in order . As to the smaller one they said that there was nothing particular because after the accident the car engine could be started again and after small repairs it is ready to run. It means that – is moving again.

Here - no need to ask permission for taking pictures. Taking out the camera was enough and the drivers themselves wanted their pictures to be taken.

Between the two countries the goods are transported by this kind of cars.

The next stop.

The idea was to find a more or less decent overnight place before dark. This place is before a local school. Fortunately it was a holiday.

In the morning they kindly gave the permission inside and outside the house. Such is a small village school in Somaliland.

And classrooms, some inside the house and some made of branches.


And inside the house.

Local teacher in front of the blackboard.

Breakfest - Somalian bread.

Up till now the road was quite passable. And when not it was still possible to move on beside the road.

This is the moment when I managed to get stuck in the sand. The large cars had made this kind of deep and tens of metres long tracks.

Fortunately the situation was resolved by the arrival of another local transport from Djibouti`s direction. And with joint forces the bus was pulled out from the sand. Which means that it does not make sense to drive on in these rails , a few hundred metres and the belly of the car is on the ground again. And up to the border – it was still tens of kilometres of desert.

Next – there were two options, either give up at once and turn around , drive back a day and a half and almost 200 kilometres, or continue until there is a chance to move on. Since there were no sand dunes there, it was possible to drive on in the sand after the reduction of the tire pressure. The main point was not to loose speed and drive on next to the road.

No more pictures of the next two dozens of kilometres, because didn`t want to take the risk of stopping. And the traffic of local transport was also not very heavy. Two– three cars and interval of many hours.

At the next inhabited spot it was possible to buy an ostrich egg. Didn`t buy because it had to be eaten right away. In this heat it will not last long.

And the good news was that the local drivers said, that the most difficult part of the road was behind. But the bad thing was that further on there were several tracks and since the wind was strong and blew sand - it would have been quite troublesome to move on. There was no sense to move on alone. If you don`t know the right way then accompany these who know. Too much road left to go.

Fortunately there was a local who drove his car in front of me a few dozen miles up to the place , where only one road went further.


Here is another sandy riverbed, which had dozens of different sandy tracks and finally it was necessary to get up to the shore. Since the photo is taken from the top and nobody is in the sand on the bottom - the task was completed. Succsessfully.

The crawlers of a tank.

And the tank itself. Fortunately the road was decent. Compared to the earlier one.

Border town Loyada. The most difficult part of the road was passed. In case to drive this road again the car should be made lighter, easier to drive in the sand.

The border-crossing was easy. For a moment a receit book of payment was taken out and a kind of payment was mentioned (to exit 20 USD ) . Such tax exists but it is for aircraft passangers only. I gave them the original customs paper given me while entering the country. And that was enough.

A total of 11 days in Somaliland left a good impression of this country, it is definitely worth visiting again.

About Djibouti in the next post.

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