Thank you all.
ERIC DN, thanks for explaining Ksar thing.
Day three, 29.04.07, Tunisia at last
We’re cheap bastards, so we haven’t pay for cabin, instead we were sleeping in our seats. I managed to get some good sleep. We snapped few pictures while nearing Africa.
Around 8 o’clock ship docked, we lost some time reorganizing our baggage, so we were at the end of the line for passport control. Our Libyan friend was in front of us, he was driving some giant 4x4 pickup and towing KTM 525 on the trailer. Passport check was quick, some forms were stamped, and we were allowed to proceed towards customs. No one asked for visa this time. Before custom offices, “helpers” were waiting, they are locals who are offering their help with forms, and demanding money in return. We were warned by our friends to politely refuse their services, which we did. Our Libyan friend was in fact showing us way around offices, so we were advancing nicely. Officials were very polite and helpful, some of them were girls.
Then I suffered minor setback. In fact, officer was preparing to let me go, and then he spotted GPS on my bike. He told me that I must visit CERT office, to get extra permission for my Zumo. I managed to find the office, but guess what, there is no one there. I tried to ask some officials who were passing by, but no one knew anything. I was little nervous, because of hopelessness of the situation. Than two guys of Arab origin appeared, they also had some business with CERT. They raised their voices, went to the nearest officials, and after some time we got explanation. CERT guy suffered minor traffic accident and he will soon be in his office. I started chatting with guys, they knew few English words, but were fluent in Italian. I know few Italian words, so we were able to communicate. They were Algerian citizens working in Italy traveling home for holidays. They were friendly, offered me some cigarettes, and they were very confused when I told them that I don’t smoke. We were talking about motorcycles, about Valentino Rossi, in fact we didn’t understand each other very well, but it was very nice conversation. Finally CERT guy arrived, inspected my Zumo, filled and stamped few forms. One last check and we were free to go.
First picture after leaving the ship
Our plan was to bypass Tunis, head to Bizerte, visit Cap Blanc, and then head towards Beja. Traffic was OK, and after few minutes we arrived at toll station. We meet police patrol, and decided to stop and ask for directions. They were extremely friendly, we chatted for half of hour. In fact they were Garde Nationale (National Guard), Tunisian equivalent of French gendarmerie, as I understand it.
Linza had some problems with his chain, so we stopped at the “shop” in suburbs of Bizerte. There was bunch of kids, who helped us and even refused to accept some money, so we explained them that our custom is to left some money for drinks to people who helped us. Then they arranged little photo session for us. Very cool!
Because of my error in navigation, we were unable to find Cap Blanc, so we headed into open country. I was surprised by the landscape, just look at the pictures.
Late afternoon we arrived at Dougga, to visit Roman ruins. Rain started to fall, so we decided to find accommodation in Le Kef.
Hotel bar was full of locals, they were serving beer, so we got few cold ones, and some grilled lamb. There is local brand of beer called Celtia, and it is not bad at all. End of the first day in Tunisia, we had very nice time, country is beautiful and everybody is very friendly.
To be continued...