Hargeisa - No walk in the park


Crossing into Somalia made my blood running faster. Somalia has the reputation of being wild and volatile, certainly no walk in the park. Reasons alone to come here. The Oriental Hotel in the centre of Hargeisa was my base and the first thing I had to do is getting some cash changed into Somali shillings. The place to do this is the money changer market, where everything legal and illegal could be traded. My focus was on first get some cash in my hands and then organize someone who helps me on my way down to the Somali coast. The roads of Hargeisa are dusty and the glimmering heat let the dust stick on my sweating body that I looked like a local after some minutes on the street. A rather positive thing, when walking the streets. At the market some guys told us, that the going exchange rate was 0.1 Kilo of Shillings against the Dollar - Yes "Kilos". You don't need a cash counting machine, just a balance. By juggling a couple of hundred dollar bills some guys with a hand barrow arrived to deliver the cash for the transaction. The trunk of my pick-up was soon filled: 1 Somali Soldier with his Kalashnikov, 50 kg of Somali shillings, 200 g of fresh Qat, 2 bags of camel milk and 2 filled ammunition belts - just in case. Now I was ready for a week-long Somali road trip down to the coast.