Monday, October 6, 2014

Tunisia Trip Day 5

(10/12/2014: updated with photos)

Today is a national religious holiday, which meant we had to drive around town in the morning looking for a store to buy water. Since we're walking around a lot, I'm always sweating and running low on water.

Our first stop today was Midés, which was right on the border with Algeria. There were a few oases along the way and as we drove up a mountain road, the views were spectacular. We also saw an Italian group on ATVs; it looked like the rode a long way through the desert. At the end of the small road is a large river gorge that the locals call the Grand Canyon (it's actually not that big). I read that several films were shot here, including The English Patient. Retracing our steps, we stopped in Tamerza to hike another river gorge. Along the way we met some tourists that drove there from Spain. Overall however, I was again told tourism has gone down a lot after the revolution.

Oasis at the foot of the hill before Tamerza

Crazy Italians on ATVs

Ruins of old Tamerza

Dry river gorge at Midés

Hills and another dry river gorge behind Tamerza

Inside the dry river gorge

Greenery at the end of the gorge...

...fed by a small natural spring

After Tamerza, we stopped at Chebika to check out the old town ruins, and a small spring-fed pool where some kids were swimming/diving. Once again, it was all boys; don't girls get to play outside? On the way back to the car, my right leg started cramping. I think it's because I sweated a lot and only had water to drink. Need to find Gatorade or some bananas to replenish some potassium.

Chebika ruins and oasis

Desert landscape

Spring pool visible at bottom left

No Gatorade? Powerade? How about a Coke Zero?

At this point it was almost 2pm and a rainstorm was coming; we could hear thunder for about 30 minutes already. We drove back to Tozeur to look for food but almost all businesses were closed. We found a small store and bought some snacks and yogurt in lieu of stopping for lunch. On the way back to the hotel, we saw a small restaurant that looked open. They only served pizza and omelettes but we were hungry so we changed our minds and stopped to eat. We asked our driver to sit with us, and when his friend showed up 5 minutes later, he also joined us to talk. Apparently he (driver's friend) runs a few businesses and travels a lot; he was even in China for vacation in 2012. After lunch, he invited us to his house where he has 4 large dogs and a collection of souvenirs from his travels. He also had lots of empty beer bottles. Our driver didn't like that.

We rode on something similar last night; of course there were a lot more of them during the day when you can see stuff


When we got back to the hotel in Tozeur, it started to rain. We decided to call it a day since everyone was super tired. I ended up doing some laundry in the bathroom sink; hopefully everything will dry by tomorrow morning. My room was still really hot and facing the wrong way so there is no breeze. We asked again at the front desk and the same guy from yesterday said the AC might turn on tonight. Of course it did not. Can I give zero star reviews on TripAdvisor?

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