Flooding in NW of TunisiaRed Lizard TrainWiki Info Jendouba
Well, as in most things when you plan them inevitably the plan will change. Today we headed out to the louage (van-type bus used extensively here) station early since a Brit fellow we spoke to said he barely made it to the train (Red Lizard) having left at 8am. We are 15 minutes earlier but it seems that waiting for the louage to fill will easily use up our 15 minute advantage, ha
I don't know why the Brit fellow had trouble getting to train, turns out it only took 45 min. to get there so we had plenty of time, even had tea!
Canyon train - Red Lizzard - was a trip...LOTS of tourists & all but us in a tour, we were only independent travelers. Back in Metlaoui... we walked to main road on our way to louage station & as luck would have it a louage stopped for us already on its way to Gafsa w/ just room for 3! These folks are so helpful and friendly! Once in Gafsa we explained our destination was E L Kef and they worked out how 3 more louages, very honest and even tho we were a bit confused all $ etc worked out fine. In Kasserine by 4 but then :-) drove around looking to fill up louage...only 15 minutes! Most other places, they search until almost full we leave w/ only the 3 of us plus 2 who are only going part way.... In E L Kef we have a quick discussion
as best we can with our louage driver & another finally deciding to go on to Jendouba. It is now 6pm so we arrive in the dark at Atlas Hotel
, cheapest of 2 in this town nevertheless still the most expensive we've encountered, 22 dinar per person ($15 US )! With all the travel and the train tour this has been one expensive day=66dinar or $47US!
Traveling so far has been relatively easy with helpful, friendly Tunisians easily able to overcome our French/Arabic deficiencies. Along the way I have seen quite a bit of new construction both of home & business repair/remodel and highway upgrading - resurfacing, "bridges" (actually, cement culverts), and widening of roads. It is hard to believe there was just a political revolution here w/in just the past year judging just by the way commerce is moving right along. Or maybe that is why we are seeing this busy activity!?
Today=5 louage trips and one train ride=37 dinar($26 US)
Tunisia: cork(wine bottle stoppers), phosphate, salt, olives/oil, wheat, dates, and tourism - pre- Roman civilizations
2-25Wiki Info Dougga
After a rocky start taking a louage all the way to Beja & costing us an hour, we finally made it to Dougga @ 12! Dougga was unbelievably scenic - weather was perfect and as always photos do not do the site justice. We discovered - as always after the fact - that we would have been better served had we stayed in Kef since buses serve both Jendouba and Dougga (via Teboursouk). Finding transportation has been difficult in this part of Tunisia unless you don' t care how much you spend, then louages go everywhere - eventually! One plus to staying in Jendouba (other than seeing the fantastic stork population nesting everywhere) has been access to a "grocery" store of sorts. We bought canned veggies and hummus and other travel foods as well. The restaurant fare is poor here in Jendouba.
This eve Mari & I went down into the restaurant portion of Hotel Atlas
because when we returned from our excursion the hotel seem full, tons of men at every table smoking & talking. We entered the restaurant area and to our amazement every table was crowded w/ men drinking beer! We found a table we could share w/ 2 other men & began playing Cribbage. They were just as curious about us so after some sign/speak we discovered that the hotel acts as a BAR on weekends, none of these men were staying here they all came to drink beer!! Mari being herself began smoking her 'beedies' from India which seemed to amuse/amaze the men around us as well.