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Tunisia 2002

Ksar Ghilane - Tunis

Leg details

April 6 - April 13, 2002
Near Ksar Ghilane - "Eye of a needle" - Douz - Es Sabria - El Faouar - Chott Bou Charab - Chott El Jerid - Kebili - Chott El Fejaj - Steftimi - Es Segui - El Lehman Gebirge - El Haffey - Col du Haddège - Sakket - Gafsa - Metlaoui - Magrou - Gorge de Selja - Redeyef - Moulares - Magel Bel Abbès - Fériana - Bouderies - Thala - Rouhla - Makthar - Kef El Gafia -Ksar Lamsa - El Fahs - Aqueduc Romain - Tunis


Leg maps see below


April 6, 2002

Near Ksar Ghilane - Ksar Ghilane - "Eye of a needle" - Douz

We wake up to a wonderful morning.

We find many tracks in the sand ..... what might that have been? And this? This one is known however.

Hmm.... a scorpion? This one has no beginning and no end ....

For breakfast the much praised bread that was baked on the fire the previous evening is made available.
It is gone much to fast ....

Today is going to be excitingly.
On the way to Douz at Ksar Ghilane we will have to cross the "eye of the needle"... or consider taking a 180 km-detour.

In front of us the oasis Ksar Ghilane. Horses are found rather rarely in the desert.

Antiquity and modern world side by side.

A bath always feels great.
The flowing water was wonderfully warm, like at home in the bath tub.

We saw3 storks stilting around.
Nobody was pregnant in our party - word of honor!

The track becomes sandier and sandier .... THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE!!
Prior to crossing the approx. 400m wide dunes belt each of us was in a blue funk.
Adding to the hardship was an difference in elevation of approx. 30 m in the first half that had to be overcome.
We seriously discussed the absurdness of the crossing but Martin Krauer just laughed.

The instructions were quite clear:
During the whole crossing of approx. 2 minutes the car must be driven in second gear at the edge of the red of the speed control range.
Do not change gears and do not take the foot off the accelerator.
Unfortunately we had to tackle the dunes from the steep and soft side.
Since we had the heaviest car, we were first to cross.
The more difficult part has been accomplished!

Gilles had young Noah in the car, who enthusiastically cheered on his daddy.

Surprisingly the jeep did not have any problems either.
Afterwards Rüedel's self-esteem rose noticeably, as his "bomb" had constantly dug itself into the sand.

The Opel Frontera also came through with flying banners.
It is evident how it entrenched itself in sand because of the too soft suspension.

A small driving error and one is suddenly located dangerously diagonally in the landscape.
Had Peter driven on the car would have rolled over.
Since he stopped early enough, it was easy getting the car unstuck.
2nd approach ... much "sand" for nothing.

The boss giving instructions.
On this spot on previous tours two drivers had turned their cars to scrap iron.
They had flown too far and had landed too hard.

Rally driver Gilles with copilot Noah.

The engine in Bruno's Nissan is too weak for such a strain. Andreas's Defender had no trouble at all.

The "goat", Ueli's VW which actually is a Toyota HiLux, managed easily.
The vehicle has an Australian "Old man Emu" suspension and is set higher.
It is a joy to watch him driving it.

Yeah!! All done. That was pure adventure. We will never forget this place.
This was a hard earned lunch.

In the middle of nowhere we find this "cafe".
Everybody somehow makes a living out here.

The locals travel with absolutely inadequate vehicles.
They obviously intended to cross the "eye of the needle" in reverse direction.
The poor devils did not even have water to to drink and it was quite warm.
We gave them a few bottles of water.

Different worlds .... Still life.

To brake the migration of the dunes palm leafs are inserted on the dune combs.

Campground at Douz.
Surely some qualified tyre dealer could be found in the city....
Bruno also had to replace the front shock absorbers on his Nissan.

April 7, 2002

Douz - Es Sabria - El Faouar - Chott Bou Charab

The gate to the Souk of Douz. One meets at the village square to play domino and have a chat.

A garage ...... Aha!! The qualified tyre repairer is found ...

Susi and Heidi get to know a very likeable Beduin.
He demonstrates his skills as musician. Lotfi is a merchant, a beduin and the leader of a 5 man band. He also sells his recorded music cassettes. He speaks and writes Arab and French, has a mailbox through which Susi still communicates and exchanges photos.


The camel market of Douz

Although the campground was pleasant and calm, we were eager to depart again today.

Martin promised us his "private" field of sand roses. Thus we again depart.

Speeding!! The salt lake was so flat so that we could drive with 80 kmh over it.
On the way to the sand rose field one one of the occasions of getting bogged Martin lost his number plate somewhere.
Frontera at infinitum .... If there was a place to get stranded you bet they would find it!!
He probably lost the number plate on one of those occasions.

We arrive at a very beautiful camp in the sand, near Martin's "private" sand rose field.
We enjoy the Apéro in this beautiful surrounding.

The evening ended in a beautifully setting, which Peter and Heidi used for a photo expedition to the nearby dunes........ with a little gamma correction the photograph looks even better. Simply beautifully.

April 8, 2002

Chott Bou Charab - Chott El Jerid - Kebili - Chott El Fejaj - Steftimi - Es Segui

A spider. It was the size of a hand ...
The scorpion is only about 5 cm long ... however the bastard is out of bounds! Found it under Hausi's tent.
These "beetle" needs neither sand boards nor auxiliary tanks!

The exhaust suspension that was repaired a few days ago again needs attention.
For us desert rule 376a was applied: Turning on the spot on soft sand is unhealthy. Dig .....

Martin's "private" sand rose field.
Unfortunately (or thank God) the things are quite fragile, otherwise one would take much too many home.
This is a larger sample, approx. 60 cm high. We partially blew the formation out with compressed air.

The camel parents have always tried to hide their small ones.

Hurray! What a coincidence!
In the middle of the desert we found Martin's license plate again.

The fort was used as setting in a Star Wars movie.
The obligatory group picture: Oliver, Lislotte, Martin, Susi, Ruedi, Peter, Heidi, Ueli, Bettina, Dario, Andrea, Gilles, Rachel, Ruedi (Rüedel), Hausi, Bruno. Martin and Susan are taking the picture.

Today the fort is a tourist attraction and serves as a restaurant. It was quite hot .....

Mass camp, respectively the hotel wing of the fort.

Encounter of the generations.

Fata Morgana in the Chott El Jerid.
We pass through areas with much water however it is salty and brackish.

Outside of Kebili
Scaffolding à la Tunesiènne in Kebili

Fata Morgana in Chott El Fejaj
Nature is merciless.

What? Are we looking for the frog king .....? ....
Nothing, we only find some water in 50 - 60 cm depth in our specially built well.

View on the El Leham mountains.
A genuine Beduin lives here with his goats. The beduins are masters of improvising.

The night camp at the foot of the El Leham mountains.
Every evening the cozy get together in the "village square".

The scorpion is a giant, approx. 12 - 14 cm and very active. We found it at the edge of the Camp.

April 9, 2002

Es Segui - El Lehman Gebirge - El Haffey - Col du Haddège - Sakket - Gafsa

The next morning we climb the El Leham.
Unfortunately the weather is somewhat hazy, otherwise one would see even further to the south.
The members of today's "Expedition El Leham".

Amazing what weather can achieve.
That is stone, not loam.

Star photographer Hanhart.
The obligatory flower... and thistles.. and dried shrubs.

View back from the El Haffey. The rock foldings were emphasised more on site.

Avenue to the Col du Haddège.
Even a small creek is flowing. Amazing what vegetation it is able to support.

Col du Haddège .... in direction Sakket. The mountains are a bit over 1100 m high.

Noah is as always content with himself and the world.

Specimen of the "standing tail ant", about 4 cm in length and very dangerous.
Also eats small children.

April 10, 2002

Gafsa - Metlaoui - Magrou - Gorge de Selja - Redeyef - Moulares - Magel Bel Abbès - Fériana - Bouderies

The already vacated night camp site in a river bed, west of Gafsa.

Metlaoui a city in the vicinity of phosphate mines. The boss goes shopping, he has a break

Amazing shapes brought about by erosion.
Here too the weather accomplishes interesting shapes.

View of "Gorges de Selja" at Magrou.
The "water" of the river consists of phosphate mud from the processing plants.

Shall I or should I not? This "guide" showed us, how one makes a show from "nothing". He was an outstanding story teller / salesperson / bluffer.
Noah goes along with simply anything.

The view back to the chasm.

On our return the camels were around. What a coincidence!!

I am the most beautiful camel. The small ones like placing themselves in the right spot.

Get lost - bloody tourists!!

The mountain pass which we travelled on does not exist on the map.
It leads from south to north across the mountains to Redeyef.
Weather, views and the road are excellent.

Here one last view to the south.

The chasm is terribly deep.
Even for Peter it becomes somewhat too steep ..... "Search for the motives your self!"

Noah ... always content ....

Night camp close to Bouderis, directly on the Algerian border.
The camp was (two days after the terrorist attack on the synagogue of Djerba) guarded the whole night by the Tunisian army.
On the evening of Heidi's birthday we had a gourmandising dinner with Apéro, meat, wine and dessert buffet. Naturally everything was of the finest sort only.

The kitchen is ready to prepare the grand dinner.

April 11, 2002

Bouderies - Thala - Rouhla - Makthar - Kef El Gafia

The "Mountain road Challenge" was planned today.

With much wind and sand we traversed the hilly country in direction northeast.

Rüedel's carefully protected patina of the phosphate mud river crossing.
It was finally washed off on the road between Genoa and Switzerland.

This part of the journey for us was "a huge pleasure".
If two understand each other, they can keep themselves busy all day long.
The track would be no problem to cross with an empty vehicles. Some vehicles because of the loading had a high point of gravity.
Besides that each of our vehicles was loaded up to the limit, accordingly it lay low and was slow-reacting. They easily started to slip.

Good angles of repose were in demand, good articulation were a pre-requisite. The individual passages were challenging but harmless.

Animal transport à la Tunesiènne.

April 12, 2002

Kef El Gafia -Ksar Lamsa - El Fahs - Aqueduc Romain - Tunis

Back in the port of Tunis.
Adieu, Tunisie!

Today youngster of all ages can be found in bars.
Hey! That spaghetti has my name written allover it! Uff!! that was spicy!

April 13, 2002

Tunis - Genoa - Switzerland

A last get together. Will we meet ever again?
It was a fantastic team from the first to the last day. We never had even the slightest unpleasantness between any of the participants.
It was a super experience.

Bastia on Corsica and the north tip of the island.

Entry into Genoa.
We were here once before ......



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Last updated: Friday, 08.02.2019 8:28 PM

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