12 January 2011
The morning started with another meeting at the African Union then we caught the plane to Djibouti arriving after dark. The short flight from Addis flew over jagged, broken dusty brown mountains and many milk chocolate dry rivers. The flight was full leaving Addis but more than two-thirds of the passengers disembarked during a brief refueling stop at Dire Dawa, about an hour from Djibouti.
To check into our hotel we had to pass through several different security checkpoints, including getting our baggage screened in an x-ray machine to get inside. We ended up getting staying at the Djibouti Palace Kempinski upon recommendations of so me local friends, mainly for security reasons. The hotel was very expensive but also very comfortable with several swimming pools, good restaurants, a great gym, and the best bed i have slept on in Africa. The bathrooms were amazing with a separate tub and a sauna-shower with an overhead rain shower and bench. But for $250+ USD per night it should be good!
If you stay in the Kempinski one should be aware that only the new wing has wifi, and the hotel graciously accommodated my request to move to a room with wifi. The signal and bandwidth was sufficient to video Skype with my family back in the states. Wifi access requires a free code from the business center and i had no problems connecting with my iphone and iPad.