Before we even put finger to keyboard we already know that this will be a very short post due to the connection but mostly due to the shoddy keyboard here in the Oasis town of Tozeur, Southern Tunisia.

Since Etna and Adrano, we continued on our merry way with a niggling feeling in the back of our minds continually saying are you ready for Africa? Well we had a long time to think it over on our crossing from Palermo to Tunis, La Goulette. The truth is that one is never ready, just partly or not incompletely. The good news is that after you leave home, there are still shops, banks, pharmacies and most things you might need, but looking at what people brought on the ferry, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was WWIII and that the world would soon end given the way some cars are so heavily laden.

Fully Loaded Car

Fully Loaded car embarking for Tunisia

Once in Tunis, we were the most spoilt of guests at Pascal,s aunt,s place. With treats such as Couscous, Brique, Merguez and ‘Doigts de Fatima’ to name a few after three days we were very well rested and fed like royalty. We made a few side trips in and around Tunis but most of all it was a fantastic opportunity for Pascal to catch up with his family even though it was short-lived. Along the coast north of Tunis is a very famous town called Sidi Bou Said, it is certainly a beautiful location and you can see why. Just add mint tea, Bombalouni and the setting sun over Tunis and you can understand why so many locals just come here to relax and hang out.

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said looking out over the Mediterranean

But there is no rest for the restless? South, south and further south we headed until the Mediterranean sea we saw no more and the coastline of which we have become so accustomed now gradually replaced by date Palms, Eucalyptus trees and arid regions and eventually the desert.

Towards Matmata

Towards Matmata as the flat plains turned to barren hills

There are some noticeable differences between life in Tunisia and the rest of Europe, namely the storage of meat. It is common to find butchers along the roadside signified by the meat hung up outside.

Fresh Camel meat

Fresh Camel meat

That of course is not the only difference, but it is surprising none the less. Stemmed in tradition, the Tunisians are proud of their country and heritage but it,s not without concern for their uncertain future. Time will tell whether the new elect Ennahda, a self titled moderate Islamist party will help this country desperately in need of a boost in tourism to regain its feet and steer Tunisia in a prosperous or perilous path forward.

Sandstorm

Sandstorm on the Chott El Jerid

Now we find ourselves unable to sleep in our trusty tent due to the sandstorms blowing Saharan sands so high into the atmosphere that the sun no longer is yellow but a pale white and the sky a dull blue-grey with a tinge of beige. It is a desolate and isolated ride from town to town here in the south and it will get longer and more so as we prepare to cross over into Algeria on the first of November.

Chott El Jerid

Chott El Jerid on the way through the salt lakes in gale force winds

The super fine sands really do get into everything and it will be the ultimate test of our equipment, machine and nerves as we embark on the next leg of our North African adventure.

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