Thursday, June 20, 2013

Baboons & The drive to Arta Plage (Beach) & Arta

The drive to Arta Plage (French for beach) took a few years off my life.  This was an off-road trek.  And our car is considered an SUV, however.. it is not an off-road SUV.  Our car bottomed out quite a few times.  We drive a Honda CRV.  So, I don't recommend this trip if you don't have a tall vehicle.  Unless.. you don't care about the bottom of your car.

Before we got off the highway, we FINALLY saw baboons!

Look at the cute babies!

Oh.. and some more camels across the street.

Once in a while you see someone carrying things on their heads.. or strapped to their backs.  She is gathering firewood, as the people in this area cook everything over a fire.
Do you like this street sign?  If only we have paid attention!  But we were more focused on the part that pointed which way to the beach.  (That is a goat to the left)

Lots of camels.  In this area, they are almost camouflaged.

I loved looking at the mountain cliffs on this drive.  It might look all the same in the pictures, but in person it was so nice.  Much nicer change from the constant desert we see everywhere else.
We took a short walk when we got there, this was the view of the beach.

Donkeys carrying water.

When we got back in the car.. it said it was 107 degrees.

View of the beach as we drove away.  Nothing here.  But there was nice tide pools, and its always nice to get in the water on a hot day.

More beach-front property

Can you see the water through the haze?  I mean.. dust?

On the drive back, I was more prepared for the hazards of the road.. that I tried to relax and take more pictures of the mountains.  Here they have some stairs and equipment.  Not sure what they use if for.

Neat caves in the mountains.  Not sure I'd investigate to see what lives in them though.  Probably just goats if anything at all.

I'll never get tired of these Umbrella Thorn Acacia trees.  However, don't get too close.  The thorns sting for HOURS!

More camels

We tried to attempt a side road that went to the town of Arta.. but we had to turn around.  If her car can't make it, I know ours for sure wouldn't make it!

They paint rocks and spell things and designs on sides of mountains.

Isn't this a beautiful view of the ocean?  And it's not even dusty season yet!  (Yes, that is my sarcasm.. because the dust storms are arriving next month in July.)

OK, I officially want a house in Arta! (I am not being sarcastic) This is the greenest place I've seen in all of Djibouti!  Everyone was in awe!

Look at all of those beautiful trees in Arta!

Yes, I realize it is still dusty and mostly dirt.. but imagine living here when you can see the ocean just over those trees!

Wild flowers growing on the side of the road!  Amazing!

 If you are driving to Arta Plage, you need to PASS the road to Arta.  You cannot reach the beach from the town, as the town is high on a mountain cliff.

Decan Cheetah Refuge

In Djibouti, this place is considered the "zoo".  This refuge was built based on this cheetah.  She was chained in front of a restaurant for quite some time as a pet, and a veterinarian came and rescued it.  All animals were obtained in Djibouti.

DECAN (DECouvrir et Aider la Nature - Discover and Help Nature)




Leopard Tortoise

Apparently, these cheetah's were found in Djibouti.  And the reason you don't see cheetah's very often in Djibouti, is because the police kill them as soon as they see them.  

At first we though these were antelope and we were back in Cheyenne.. but these are gazelles.  Do you like how they stand up to eat in the tree?

This place is run entirely by volunteers.  Some of them sleep here too.  This sitting area has a view of the cheetah habitat.  Their living quarters have open walls, at least a breeze can come through.  But I wouldn't want to sleep here when the wind and dust storms come.

I didn't get a good shot of the lions.  And we didn't get to see all of the animals, as they are working on some of the habitats.  But I'm sure we will be back in the winter, when it's only in the cool 80's, instead of in the high 90's like it was the day we visited in May.