20 Jun 2012


Again we were on the road by 8, but this time a little later we had only 180 km to drive. Our guide turned out to be completely incompetent, and doesn't know anything about history. He "explains" in Dutch and French, then forgets in which language he had explained that we are driving towards the salt lake, which everybody knew as it is written in the program. Then he would explain twice in Dutch or twice in French and the people started to get fed up ! Explanations like we are in the desert now or there are palm trees ahead, are very useful especially when you have noticed them already since 10 min.

We drove along little villages and on the road men were selling petrol in jerrycans for the cars or trucks ther were no gaz station around. Looked quiet funny when you saw the drivers filling in the tanks with jerrycans !

Before we arrived at the salt lake, we stopped for a horse buggy ride to an oasis, but we three had been experienced this already several times so we preferred to sit down in a local cafe and have a coffee. Our guide tried to squeeze extra excursions, payable of course, into the program which included everything. We had a nice time in this local cafe where men played cards, the owner offered us a bouquet of mint, and got paper tissues for Dominique whose nose was running. We weren't bothered at all, nobody tried to sell us something, they were just asking where we came from.

Meanwhile the others came back from their ride, which had been very disappointing, the buggies were awful, everybody had pity with the horses and the "Oasis" had been just a few palm trees. So we had done well.

Finally we arrived at Chott El Jerid the famous salt lake where you can see fata morganas. There was a shop with all kind of stuff from sand roses to dried desert animals and of course some carpets too.

The place itself was very beautiful and amazing, it looked sometimes like snow. On some of the salt hills they had put very nice sculptures with material they had found in the desert.

The colors were white, or a light blue, or pink. I had seen such a landscape already in the States but can't remember the name !

Finally we arrived at 1pm at the hotel Golden Yasmin, where we stay for two nights. It is very beautiful and fortunately has air conditioning because it is awfully hot 40°C !

We had just two hours to rest at the swimming pool when our crazy guide took us to Tozeur the town where we stayed at 4 pm !! where the temperature reached 50°C and of course everything was closed in this heat. He didn't know that the market took only place in the morning and that the shops would only reopen in the evening ! We turned around in the small streets where it was even more hot; he asked a friend to open his shop for us, but nobody did buy anything, we were all very upset.

Then he asked the driver to take us to a "Olive tree" museum (of course not included in the program) where one of our men in the group lost his temper ! He told him what we all thought and called the travel agency. There the little guy got mad and called his boss, the driver a very nice man took the situation in his hands, explained what all can be done with an olive tree, and sent the little mad man away. Unfortunately he didn't find another victim but poor Nicole who listened patiently to him telling her what a wonderful guide he was etc etc. Nicole said nothing and just sat there and looked at the palm trees. And I and the others stayed with the driver. It was really such a comical situation !

We came back rather late at past 7 pm and then he wanted to take us to a Berber show with horses and belly dances at 7.30, not even time for a shower after this awful heat. Of course this was also not included. Fortunately Nicole and I stayed in the hotel chatting with some others from the group, and had a very nice evening. Dominique came back, disappointed, it wasn't at all what she had expected and the couscous was rather for tourists and not made for the locals.

and so ended our third day!


Linens and Royals said...

Gattina, you make the trip sound fun and interesting even with bad guides and too much heat. Don't forget to ring Rosie, I'm sure she is still waiting for your call.

namaki said...

interesting ... and amusing !

Maribeth said...

Your room looks lovely. But the desert looks so hot! Today it is 34 degrees here in New Hampshire! Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Loree said...

It's so hot this year already. I am not sure I am going to enjoy this summer. The hotel looks lovely. I hope you have a great stay there.

Jo said...

How well you describe it all! Even the bad guide, the heat and the closed shops. Glad you're having a great time. Your hotel here looks SUPER. And the pool inviting...

diane b said...

there is nothing worse than a bad guide to spoil a nice holiday.