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Published: February 13th 2020
Our last day is what I was greatly looking forward to. After we had left the interior and returned to Djibouti City again, with another stop at the Casino supermarket, we went to a hotel for our last night. Finally - a shower!!! S and I shared a room - she got the big bed, so I got to shower first. I washed my hair three times; it was still crusted in salt from the day before. Everyone else went out for dinner that night in town, but I just decided to stay in - I was not feeling well and was exhausted. I did not want to be stuck in town having to wait on a ride if I wanted to come back early, so I had a dinner of granola bar. We had all been hoping for wifi at the hotel and they even came up with a router, but we were never able to get service. Oh well. It was kind of nice for the entire trip to not have a connection to the outside world.
We got up and had breakfast - we actually got an omelette in addition to coffee, mango juice and bread. So
I was filled and ready to go for the day's adventure: Swimming with the Whale Sharks. This bay is on the migratory path for the gentle giants and this is the best time of year to see them. Our tour company said that they had been able to swim with them on all their previous trips, but it is not a zoo, so they cannot guarantee it. And as soon as we got to the marina and on our rickety boat, I just knew we would not see them. The whole trip had been overcast and rainy and especially so that day - typically, it seems that you don't get a lot of whale activity when the waters are churned and waves are choppy. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see a lot of dolphins on the ride out though. There were many and we drove right through them. It was a nice distraction from what had been a long ride out of the port area and around into the bay.
We continued on and I could tell the boat driver and his assistant were trying to hard to spot them for us, but after a while we all
just kind of knew it was a bust. We were supposed to swim with the whale sharks and then go snorkel in some coral, so we told him just to take us to the coral. It's nobody's fault, though it was disappointing. Only me and three others got into swim and I was definitely the most into it. The coral was interesting and different from what I was used to. Areas were bleached, but there were also areas where there were bright colors: the coral, giant clams, sponges, fish. It was pretty cool.
I stayed in the water as long as possible, but it soon became obvious that the driver was getting nervous. Apparently the weather was really starting to pick up and he wanted to take us back. It was a very rough ride back to port; we all got soaked. Again, nobody's fault at all, but it was definitely its own little adventure. Unfortunately, when we had left the cove with coral, the driver had run over a submerged rope and it broke off a piece of the propeller. So, he was constantly checking it and we were not going as fast as on the ride in,
both due to the propeller and the waves.
We returned to port and went back to the hotel for another shower and to finish packing. Still no wifi. We were picked up and taken to the Casino supermarket (again) to get a sandwich for lunch. Then we went to the airport, checked in, and quietly passed the time in the airport, which really had little to do. You had to walk downstairs from the gate area and out to the plane, and then we were off, with a layover in Addis Ababa (where I picked up some coffee for my sis), and finally arriving in Dubai in the early morning hours, giving me a few hours of sleep before going to work. Goodbye Djibouti!
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