Mountain oases and Star Wars
Tamerza Travel Blog› entry 6 of 9 › view all entries
December 10th, 2008 – by: Jeroenadmiraal
Still, our trip to the mountain oases near the Algerian border was spectacular from the moment we left Tozeur. Basically, when you exit Tozeur and head for the mountains, you're driving over an immense flat plain, while the mountains slowly loom up in the distance. Now image the sun coming up, slowly illuminating the plain and the mountains with a soft rose color and creating long, pitch black shadows on orange masses of rock.
First stop: Chebika
Chebika lies right at the edge of the mountains, guarding the entrance to the forlorn landscape. Next to the abandoned town of old Chebika lies the oasis, and this time my cartoonvision of an oasis was correct! There was water, warm water (!), streaming as little waterfalls, stumbling out of the mountainrange past the town. We had little time, but me and my friends ran right up the mountain untill we could gaze over the immense plains. Exhausted and happy.
Second stop: Tamerza
tamerza lies deeper in the mountains and it too has a waterfall. An old one, because it flows right into a rather broad canyon. It was not as adventurous as Chebika, but still nice. There was a local too who kept bothering visitors with a salamander he had found.
Third stop: Mides
Still farther into the mountains, Mides lies right at the borther with Algeria, but you can't cross over. Narrow and playful, the canyon is a great sight! You can only see it from above and its sides are very steep and quite dangerous. Right across the gap lies Algeria; you can almost touch it.
In the afternoon we headed into the desert again with the landrover. This time to a place called Ong Jmal, named after a rocky outcrop that looks like the neck of a camel (but you must use your imagination). The view over the desert is great down there. They say that scenes from Star Wars and The English Patient have been shot at this spot, but I didn't recognise them.
We did some heavy crossing over the sand dunes, which can be quite high in this part of the country, and ended up at a very familiar tourist spot: the decor of Luke Skywalker's town, Mos Eisley. the quickly-build fake houses were on the brink of falling apart, but still... Walking around a Star Wars set gives a sense of recognition. Like visiting a city you have seen before, long ago. There were even old pipes exiting the houses and semi-futuristic machines standing around, doing nothing in particular.
When we got back in Tozeur, the hotel had left us with some surprises! To celebrate the passing of the Festival of Sacrifice they put little leaves all around our room and wrapped the towels in neat shapes! Sweet.
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