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Djibouti: The heat is on › News
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Djibouti: The heat is on

Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, is truly a holiday destination for adventurers. Mark Stratton finds its lunar landscape and sensuous waters strangely seductive

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For a moment, as a superheated desert wind scorches across my face, I share Charlton Heston's vision of purgatory. In the final scene from the 1968 cult film Planet of the Apes, Heston encountered a displaced Statue of Liberty and it dawned upon him that his simian escapades in a hitherto unknown world had actually taken place on a post-apocalyptic earth. Scenes from the movie were shot where I'm standing, at Lac Abbé, near Djibouti's western border with Ethiopia. Before me on a baking plain of crazed mud is a silvery lake stretching as far as my eyes can squint in the stinging heat. It is too poisonous to drink, tainted naturally by a cocktail of salts. Surrounding it is a sawtooth range of calamine-coloured chimneys, wickedly beautiful, and squeezing out sulphurous gases which give Lac Abbé its local name: "the stinking lake". Apocalyptic indeed.

Djibouti, a nation one-sixth the size of England located on the Horn of Africa...

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 01, 1970 (01:33:22) (1820 reads) [ Administration ]

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