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In the summer of 2009, Nicolas Rapp decided to take a break from his Art Director job at The Associated Press to attempt a one-year overland travel around the world in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. He was back in New York in February 2011 after traveling 15 months and 37,000 miles.

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  • Out of Africa

    Posted on July 3rd, 2010 Nicolas No comments
    Out of Africa
    It is now Saturday, July 3rd. In few hours, hopefully, I should be sailing toward Yemen. It has been easy to find a boat on the Djibouti port. Maybe too easy, so I am still waiting for confirmation of the trip before I can consider this trip a done deal. Around 11 a.m., I will know…
    It has been a week now that I am in Djibouti. I didn’t do much, because of the heat. It is so hot that you can’t move between noon and 4 p.m. Most stores are closed during this period of time. It is the summer here, in one of the hottest city in the world.
    On Monday, I went to the Yemen Embassy to get my visa, and for US$ 35, it was done in one hour. My friends here have a “fixer”, Alex, a local guy who helps getting things done. He drives me around Djibouti and he does make things easier since he speaks Arabic, the country second language with French.
    So we went to the port and found out that a boat, a wooden dhow, would be leaving on Saturday or Sunday. Most of these ships are cattle boat, but I am not sure exactly what mine will carry. Anyhow, no dhow leaves the harbor before it’s completely full, and if we transport cows, we will have to wait for sundown to load them.
    The trip, if you do it alone, cost you US$ 40. With my car, it should cost me US$380. To this price, I will have to add something like US$150 on this side to load the vehicle, and US$100 to unload.
    I will arrive in Al Mukha (Moka) on the Yemenite side, a coastal town right across from Djibouti. Crossing will take 12 to 16 hours, depending on the weather. At this location, the entrance of the Red Sea can’t be more than 150 miles wide, but the sea is sometimes rough. After touching down, I plan on going down to Aden, then east toward Oman.
    Because of the security situation in Yemen, I will need to find out as quickly as possible how to get an authorization to travel from the police. I believe I should be able to procure that in Aden. Some roads across the country and the border crossing with Oman are sometimes closed to foreigners. The situation is changing all the time, so I will have to find out all of that upon arrival.
    This will be the most unstable country I cross since the beginning of the trip, and I am not planning to stay there longer than necessary. I will try to put the few thousand kilometers to the border behind, even so I want to see this beautiful country. Landscapes and cities should be an unforgettable adventure, and I hope to share the pictures with you very soon. Unfortunately, I believe there’s hardly any internet access through the country, so my faithful readers will have to wait a bit to see my report. In any case, you know it will be a while, so please don’t worry and stay tuned.
    Sophie prepares coffee the Ethiopian way.

    Sophie prepares coffee the Ethiopian way.

    It is now Saturday, July 3rd. In few hours, hopefully, I should be sailing toward Yemen. (UPDATE: As of Monday, july 5th, still in Djibouti, and not sure when the boat is leaving) It has been easy to find a boat on the Djibouti port. Maybe too easy, so I am still waiting for confirmation of the trip before I can consider this trip a done deal. Around 11 a.m., I will know…

    It has been a week now that I am in Djibouti. I didn’t do much, because of the heat. It is so hot that you can’t move between noon and 4 p.m. Most stores are closed during this period of time. It is the summer here, in one of the hottest city in the world.

    Relaxing with Dave and Mimi.

    Relaxing with Dave and Mimi.

    On Monday, I went to the Yemen Embassy to get my visa, and for US$ 35, it was done in one hour. My friends here have a “fixer”, Alex, a local guy who helps getting things done. He drives me around Djibouti and he does make things easier since he speaks Arabic, the country second language with French.

    So we went to the port and found out that a boat, a wooden dhow, would be leaving on Saturday or Sunday. Most of these ships are cattle boat, but I am not sure exactly what mine will carry. Anyhow, no dhow leaves the harbor before it’s completely full, and if we transport cows, we will have to wait for sundown to load them.

    The trip, if you do it alone, cost you US$ 40. With my car, it should cost me US$380. To this price, I will have to add something like US$150 on this side to load the vehicle, and US$100 to unload.

    Little celebration for my upcoming birthday.

    Little celebration for my upcoming birthday.

    I will arrive in Al Mukha (Moka) on the Yemenite side, a coastal town right across from Djibouti. Crossing will take 12 to 16 hours, depending on the weather. At this location, the entrance of the Red Sea can’t be more than 150 miles wide, but the sea is sometimes rough. After touching down, I plan on going down to Aden, then east toward Oman.

    Because of the security situation in Yemen, I will need to find out as quickly as possible how to get an authorization to travel from the police. I believe I should be able to procure that in Aden. Some roads across the country and the border crossing with Oman are sometimes closed to foreigners. The situation is changing all the time, so I will have to find out all of that upon arrival.

    Due to security concerns in Yemen, I changed my plates as well as country sticker.

    Due to security concerns in Yemen, I changed my plates as well as country sticker.

    This will be the most unstable country I cross since the beginning of the trip, and I am not planning to stay there longer than necessary. I will try to put the few thousand kilometers to the border behind, even so I want to see this beautiful country. Landscapes and cities should be an unforgettable adventure, and I hope to share the pictures with you very soon. Unfortunately, I believe there’s hardly any internet access through the country, so my faithful readers will have to wait a bit to see my report. In any case, you know it will be a while, so please don’t worry and stay tuned.