North Africa Tour ´99 -
Dades and Dunes around Douz


Leaving Tozeur heading towards Douz you have to cross the famous Chott-el-Cherid. Nowadays it´s no adventure at all to cross it. The road is absolutely safe except some cafes in the middle of the way.

I stopped the MB almost out of sight of these cafes to dig in the Chott, but after not more than 15 minutes some kids came running, begging and trying to sell some salt cubes. But when they saw me they seemed to be frightened of the "mad" man, kneeling and digging in the salty mud.

In Douz there is a Camp site with a restaurant, plenty of hot water and a washing machine. The food is poor, but they sell beer. So you will meet most of the tourists in town there for a late night drink.

I met Brunhild and Rüdiger again and the first night we got known to Thomas and Elly from Munich. First Thomas convinced Rüdiger and me to join him to the Hammam, kind of a turkish bath. What an experience.. Of course it´s strictly seperated; women in the afternoon and men at night. Nether think of hygiene or whether the fat "eunuch" giving you a massage is gay because then you won´t enjoy it all :-)

Douz is very famous for the world best dades and the market on Thursday. Allthough there were allready quite alot of tourists, it still seems to be a very traditional market, especially trading of sheeps, goats and camels is really fascinating.

Thomas suggested to try the truck in the desert. The track to Ksar Ghilane (about 90km long) is to difficult for a heavy truck but the first 30km are perfect for a first test and playing around in the sand. So Brunhild, Rüdiger and I went next day in the MB and Thomas and Elly followed us on their motorbike. thomas.jpg (5401 Byte)
douz1.jpg (5835 Byte) Stuck for the first time in the sand....
but reducing air pressure on the tyres, digging and the use of two sandladders was sufficient to get the truck easily out of the sand, especially if you you are working with 5 people on the problem. Later in Libya, digging alone was no fun at all.
I was really impressed by the tracks I left in the sand. Anyway, the truck went surprisingly well. But to be honest, the dunes were only about 2 meters high, just perfect for the beginning and even for Conti Titan tyres no real challenge douz4.jpg (4776 Byte)
douz3.jpg (4919 Byte) What a view,  this was surely one of the most relaxing afternoons of the whole tour. Especially after all the rain the 2 weeks before, this was the real Sahara feeling I have been looking for.
That´s cool man.....
Usually I wear only long trousers and boots, cause I am afraid of spiders, scorpions or snakes, but there I haven´t seen any.
douz2.jpg (5022 Byte)
oldman.jpg (6842 Byte) Thomas knew the way to the "old man".

This guy is living out there in th desert  watching an old, unused drill whole now for 13 years. He shares his strange kind of selfmade tent only with his cute but very shy dog. Every 3 weeks a truck delivers some supplies.
Communication was very difficult, but after receiving some fresh food, he invited us for a tea.

Next day I met Dee and Debbie from Washington/USA in Douz and invited them for a short trip around. We visited again the old man, had again tea with him, but I am not sure whether he was really pleased to have visitors again.  dee.jpg (5135 Byte)


Page updated on 23.08.2000

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