My adventure to Sahara and island Djerba – Tunisia

Riding horses at sunset on the sandy beach, hanging out with nomads, visiting the Berbers who still live buried in the sand in the so-called troglodytes, jeep ride in the dunes, riding Camels…this is only a part of my Sahara adventure!

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Tunisia

Tunisia was primarily inhabited by Berbers in ancient time. Tunisia is homogeneous regarding language; Arabic is Official language, but nearly all of the population speaks French and Arabic. It is influenced by the languages of the people that lived in that region in history, so they also speak Arabic, Turkish, Italian, Spanish and French.

Tunisia’s climate is Mediterranean in the north, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Jasmine is the national flower of Tunisia. Tourism and agriculture are still the number one. This country is almost not imported food products and all their cultures are produced in the north. On the other hand, they are the third exporter of phosphates in the world. The average salary is 200 euros, while highly educated as doctors who work in the civil service, earns around 700 euros. Tunisia is most liberal of all the Islamic countries, which owes to a lawyer, and later President Habib Bourguiba. He is 1956 in a peaceful way, in negotiations with the French, Tunisian brought independence. Since then the law forbade polygamy.

Since I live in Mediterranean, with beautiful clime, many suns and close to the sea, it was a real pleasure to travel somewhere so close and be able to experience so different clime and culture, that’s priceless! That time it was going to Kenia or Djerba, I wish I saw both. 🙂 My partner chooses to close as possible, and me as far as possible, but it turns out good anyway, it’s always so great to see a new place.
So my dear friends, female and male, especially when you are young and without obligation, travel and travel! Today it is so cheap to travel. When your life passes you will feel sorry only for things, You haven’t done, and never regret what you did. At least, that’s in my case. 🙂

So let’s back to my story about Tunisia. We traveled in summer by plane from Ljubljana. Although Djerba in on the Mediterranean, it has different air, sea and people that this venture is worth it. I arrived in the evening; I remember how difficult was to adapt to the climate. The air was warm and moist; I could barely breathe. Since it was very late, I haven’t gone exploring at night, but I could not wait for a dawn!
According to the legend, Djerba is discovered by Odysseus on his way from Troy. He stayed on it because of its charms enjoying in a national sweet drink.
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Our hotel was excellent- Diar Jassine, better than we expected. We had six nights with half board. Only a few minutes away was the beach where they stacked deck chairs and part of the beach was reserved just for hotel guests. The hotel has a beautiful pool that wasn’t crowdy and it was comfortable to take a bath.
We had breakfast and dinner and you can’t say what was better. Very diverse and rich. The evenings were hosted by the pool, in addition always with some entertainers. It was one funny situation when a lady- belly dancer during her performance started rubbing her bust on each man face. You should see the facial expressions of all! Especially their wives!
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Dinner was serving up a variety of fishes and we really liked it, as well as their Tunisian salad with fresh zucchini, which I still like to prepare sometimes.
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On our way to the beach, we met playful children, a cute little lizard and we had bargaining with merchants. What can be said for the beach? Sand is everywhere … when the sea is calm, it is good for swimming. When there are waves, it can be quite muddy, what I didn’t like. But because of the environment with palms, Phoenix dactylifera, and sandy beaches, you don’t have the feeling that you are in the Mediterranean, you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. It is great that you can freely swim because there are no vicious attacks sharks. You can try riding horses on the beach. With the sunset, it’s overly romantic! If you are experienced, you can gallop! I loved it!
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Sahara, salt lake Chott El Jerid

So we decided to go around the island and we took the ferry to the east coast of Tunis to see Sahara and few other places. We took many excursions and we rode in a jeep on the dunes.

What is so special and different about Tunisia is definitely going in the desert and riding on camels. We went on an organized trip to the sandy desert. In order to get there, we had to take the ferryboat to cross the coast, which can be seen from the harbor and the ride takes maybe 20 minutes. We continued our journey to the town of Douz, to a place that is called “The door of the Sahara.”
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There was a funny situation when someone wanted to buy me and he offered his wife to my partner ( he showed us her picture) and he offered many camels too. Something like this can happen to you too 🙂

Riding on a camel is a wonderful feeling, quite different from horses, namely lowering from the camels and climbing on a camel is a little uncomfortable because you are at a much higher altitude than on a horse. People who rent camels will offer you clothes and you will be covered during the ride of camels in Sahara. The temperature was very high and I hardly could breathe! Sahara’s daily temperature reaches 65 degrees, and at night, it goes down to more than 15 degrees below zero. We also met nomads who rode horses and we had the opportunity to see what kind of life they live. We rode along the desert with speed; it was fascinating and a little scary!
I was also fascinated by the salt lake Chott El Jerid. The lake can be crossed by foot and even by car, but this is very dangerous since the salt crust is not always firm. But I stand on it!!! It was also used as a filming location for the Star Wars series. Near the lake are sold fresh desert rose stones reminiscent of the flower caused by salt, sand and water, and freshly picked dates. We visited the plantation of dates, try to imagine me – big fan of palm trees surrounded by these wonders. I blew my mind!
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Tataouine Chenini, Medenine, Matmata, Berberian house

On a tour on Tunisian east coast, we saw the beautiful olive groves. Olives in the sand, it is for us incredible! Also, we were in the desert with red sand. A was barefoot walking the desert and feeling my feet falling into the deep sand, priceless!
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What I really liked and what shouldn’t be missed in Djerba tour is Tataouine Chenini. Medenine’s Ksour are straight out of the movies (“Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace”, to be precise. These walls were built side-by-side, one over the other, in honeycomb-like blocks up to six stores high. Most were pulled down in the 1960s to make way for the expansion of the modern town, but one particularly picturesque example – Ksar Medenine – has survived. Beautiful place!!!
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We continued to Matmata Mountains, called “Moon provinces” where we visited Berberian house – Berber dwelling underground – and underground Hotel Siddi Driss, which served for the movie Star Wars.

What you need to see is the life of a berbers. Wondering who are the Berbers? Berbers (also called Imazigeni, “free man”, Amazigh) branch Hamit accommodated through the Sahel region of North Africa and include a series of powerful tribes among which the Tuareg, Rifi, Kabila, Šlehi, Beraber and others. In North Africa, there are about 70 million Berbers who speak Berber languages, particularly in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali and Niger.
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Famous Berber was St. Augustin, Culture Berbers in North Africa dates back 4,000 years, long before the arrival of the first Arabs. Traditionally, Berbers are nomads who traveled with camel caravans trade routes that linked the Mediterranean sub-Saharan Africa. A substantial portion of Berbers today sedentary population are herding cattle, sheep, and goats. Women’s work is household, weaving, and pottery. Their dwellings are huts made of clay. Nomadic Berbers still carrying goods trade between remote villages. Their homes are humble, at the entrance of each are palm and fish, symbols of fertility. In their troglodyte house is always around the 18th C. We had a chance to see their dwellings that look like anthills. Warmly welcomed us into their home.
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