(continued: Alison started this one below)
14.09.2007 - 16.09.2007 35 °C
Firstly, this was, indeed, amazing: I've wanted to see really empty landscape for a long time and we got that, and wild camels to boot. However, there were one or two minor niggles to be found, in that the driver was late, finished early, and was always in control (so we weren't), so all in all I'm happy, but hope to find a better way 'next time'.
Arrived in Ksar Ghilane and got straight onto the camels (pricey, but I'm not hiring a 4x4 and a driver just to refuse my only chance of a camel ride); Alison didn't like the height and got evil blisters, I nearly lost my balls on the downward slope: why did no one warn me? ride lasted 2 hours including visit to ancient Roman fort. Put cameras in plastic bags the sand gets everywhere, unless your camera is like mine (e.g. broken already). Returned to oasis where we were swindled by a horseman, 3 times I asked if it was included in the camel ride and 3 times he said it was. It was not. Then we had a swim in the oasis and had dinner, fanta again was extra.
Morning: an early start to visit Matmata. This is the bit I'm cross about, really. We'd hired the car for two days on a custom tour: we could go where we wanted, not follow the official route. However, our guide refused to take us south unless we paid extra AGAIN. Actually I'll write and complain about this. so we went to Matmata via Toujane and another village, all very interesting but I'm sure we were being rushed... spent about 30 mins exploring Matmata, needed longer, and ate in Troglodyte hotel which was cool. Also found another hotel where Luke Skywalker lived in Star Wars! Hotel Sidi Driss.
Arrived Gabes at 13.10 ish though we'd arranged to finish at 17.00 - 18.00, and keep in mind we started at 11.45 rather than 08.00... I don't feel ripped off as it was all brilliant, just it left a sour taste in my mouth is all, and I can't decide if it was deliberate or accidental, and to be fair we seemed to pay for more than we got.
Still it worked to our advantage as we arrived in Sousse in time to get a hotel with an amazing rooftop terrace, Hotel Gabes 15TD per night for a double room, though I should stress that it is a real dive, complete with suspicious brown lumps by the toilet (OK for us now, not one to go on Honeymoon). Today we day tripped out from Sousse to Monastir where we visited Mausoleum and Ribat - home of Monty Python's Life of Brian, which we spent a few hours exploring. Now we're going to try to find a shop and then maybe dive into the sea. As its still really very hot.