For better or worse, the journey that had begun with a 4:30am wakeup call to get to the African Express ticket counter wasn’t over. I was traveling to Hargeisa, the capital and major city of Somaliland, but until that morning, I didn’t realize that African Express flew only to Berbera, a much smaller, coastal city. (I later learned that the runway in Hargeisa is too small to accommodate the plane from African Express, though other airlines with smaller planes are able to use it.) The two cities are connected by highway, but it’s at least a three-hour journey each way. This is kind of like flying to Seattle to go to Portland—possible, but not really ideal. And in the horn of Africa, a three-hour journey is a lot different than jumping on Amtrak or renting a car and heading down I-5.
Oops. I decided to look on the bright side: traveling via Somali minibus would definitely give me a chance to experience more of the local culture. Otherwise, I might have been tired and headed straight for my hotel..