Camping at Arta Plage is a highlight for the family. We did it twice over the Christmas break, for two days and then for three days. Here’s what camping under the stars at a Djiboutian beach looks like.

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Getting there

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The boys sleep on that blue tarp. Off behind the buildings is the ‘bathroom.’ Everyone gathers for coffee after an early morning snorkel.

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Tom and I sleep near the tarp. Lucy brought her hula hoop and won the first ever Djibouti’s Got Talent show the last night. The prize – a jar of American salsa!

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Bring on the coffee. Its tough to look this good so early. Kids don’t sleep until after midnight and are up with the sunrise. Thus, so are the parents. Thus, bring on the coffee.

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Yes, the sign really says “danger of death” and on the second day a French soldier stationed himself at the bottom of this hill to keep people from going up during shooting exercises. As soon as they left, the kids scrambled on up.

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Excellent food. Except when my baggies didn’t keep out ice water and our lunch the next day was ruined. Thankfully someone caught fish and shared.

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Aren’t they pretty? And yummy.

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I think she was checking to see who had lost more teeth.

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Gotta love girls who love to play with fish.

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And gotta love the boys who catch the fish.

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Octopus. Took about five of us to catch it, he was inking and hiding and huge.

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Amazing how he could change colors and how heavy he was. We released him and he bolted. Can’t say I blame him.

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Beautiful, relaxing, community-building, educational, hard-work. That’s camping at Arta Plage.

How do you get away from the city or relax or encounter wildlife where you live?