What A Long, Strange [Road] Trip It’s Been, Addis Ababa to Djibouti

by Audio Landscapes

There’s no good reason to drive 16 hours straight and cover more than 900km.  But that’s what I and several colleagues did last week, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Djibouti.

Djibouti has the distinct claim to fame as being one of the hottest and most arid places on Earth.  Good thing it was “winter” when we visited.  By 0830 at Lake ‘Assal, I was already burning up and fleeing to the shade of a dirt mound while taking pictures there.  It was at least 95F in the sun.

The drive from Addis to Djibouti was barren enough.  Even more so from Djibouti City to Lake ‘Assal.  The moon must have more vegetation than this place.  Nevertheless, it was a great drive.  I left at 0545 and the sun blinded me in the rear view by 0600 as I headed west towards the lake.  Rocks.  And a few camels, baboons and a random human being here and there.  That was about it.  Hilariously enough, BBC ran a piece about the lake the day after I arrived home, highlighting Ali (below) in a brief interview.  There are only so many people living out there between nothing and nowhere.

Stay tuned for a forthcoming post with images of Lac ‘Assal and notes on how to represent scale in landscapes.  Note, I discovered both my boots leak.

– John

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