Monday, October 13, 2014

Tunisia Trip Day 9

By this time in the trip, I was tired. Most of it was physical: not sleeping well because of the heat, getting up at 7am to sit in the van, magically always sitting on the sun side of the van, and not eating that much during meals. Some of it was mental too: not understanding what was said most of the time, whether Arabic/French with locals, or Cantonese with travel group.

This morning, "we" wanted to leave at 7:30am since it was another day of long drives. I came downstairs at 7:05am, quickly checked email since there was no one crowding the wifi this early, and ate breakfast in 10 minutes so I can take a few photos of the hotel.

View from room; too bad the "Miami Diaco" was right downstairs and kept me up all night

Beautiful swimming pool; we never got a chance to use any of the hotel swimming pools on this trip

Hotel was right off the Mediterranean and looks good from the outside... inside, not so good

Eat. Drive. Look around. Sleep. Repeat. Luckily I started tracking our trip on my Android phone using My Tracks, otherwise I'd have no idea where we went. After breakfast (we spend way too much time eating), we drove 2 hours up the coast to Hammamet. Here we stopped to check out some catacombs but found it has been closed for weeks, so we just drove around town taking some more photos. Meh.

Las Vegas, baby! There were a few casinos in town; I think they were more for tourists.

I like how they just punch through the door panels to put a chain and padlock on the door... CLOSED!

Carthage Land... not sure what this was but it screams "tourist trap"

Hammamet coastline

Fishing trip?

Back in the van and continue driving up the coast. Next stop was Nabeul, our driver's hometown. I don't think the stop was on the original itinerary but the AC was broken in the van, so he let us off in the market while he went to try and fix it. Walking through the market, people (mostly shop vendors) were shouting nihao and konnichiwa, and sometimes even Kawasaki and Suzuki. Maybe they were just trying to get our attention but along with lots of staring by locals, I feel like a white guy in China.

Pedestrian market street

Lots of items for sale but I think it's mostly for tourists

Quite a large selection of athletic shoes they have in Tunisia

So as we were standing in from of the market waiting for our driver, a Porsche Cayenne pulls up and parks right in front of the market gate. Arrogant looking people got out and went into the market. The license plate is different from all the other ones I've seen so maybe it's military/government? Is this the equivalent of a black Audi A6 in China?

AC temporarily repaired, our driver picked us up and we continued north towards the tip of Cape Bon. We stopped at a commercial fishing port (huh?) then lunch at a restaurant with a view. Next to the restaurant was where stones were quarried and shipped inland to build all those ancient buildings so we took at look at that too.

That boat doesn't look too stable

Lunch. I had the seafood spaghetti since we're by the coast.

More lunch scenary

Beautiful coastline

Tunisian landscape and scenery is beautiful but when taking photos, I had to zoom/crop to avoid shooting trash and graffiti. Seriously, there was trash everywhere along our travel route, even in this seemingly barren coast. Sigh.

The day ended with us driving back to Tunis hotel with a quick stop at Korbous to look at a oceanside hot spring.

More beautiful and rugged Tunisian coastline

But just to the left, you have this... :(

Hot spring at Korbous. It was just down a flight of stairs next to the road. The hot water flows down to the ocean and there were lots of people swimming in a tiny area.

It was a long drive back to Tunis; we didn't get there until after dark

Back to Hotel Majestic. This time they put me up in a junior suite-like room with a separate living room area. I didn't care as long as the AC worked (it did).

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