(Roman fortifications on the border with Tunisia, Tripolitania)
Tozer ** - Metlavi - ** Tamerza - Mides - Shebika - El Hamma - ** Tozer (183 km)
Phosphate mining district of the road will lead us to the mountain oases, which were once located defensive outposts of the Roman Empire. On the route the tourists will see the fabulous scenery. By car to the goal can be reached in one day; public transport performs flights only until Metlavi and Tamerza.
Of Tozer (p. 48) tourists go to the north and soon fall into Metlavi (Metlaoui; 18,000 inhab.), 47 km. Industrial waste and transporters give "industrial" look of the city, which by the rise of phosphates required to develop its low modern houses lined up along the railway, on which valuable and at the same time polluting raw materials are transported for processing to the Mediterranean coast.
Metlavi of you can go to a certain nostalgic mood causing a trip on a train "Red Lizard." Landscapes, flying through the windows of the car, breathing harsh romance. The train departs from the station Metlavi and passes through a narrow gorge Selja, the trip lasts 2 to 3 hours. Usually travel started between 10.00 and 11.00, the cost of the ticket - 20 TD. It should be borne in mind
that in high season the train can be crowded. You can book a place at «Tamerza Palace» (see below).
For Metlavi mountainous landscape literally full of gaping wounds inflicted by the extraction of phosphates. But pretty soon the passengers suddenly striking bright green little oasis. On the high bank shows some rather dilapidated houses. This - ** Tamerza (Tamerza), 117 km. While walking around the abandoned village can be a good look at her mud hut, look inside the marabout or village prayer hall of the mosque - all open to the public. Oasis residents moved a little further - into a modern Tamerza and oasis in the proper form contains only marabout. Neighbors cascading waterfalls visible mo, see not succeed: they besieged irritating traders souvenirs and, in addition, most of the year given very little water.
On the slope in front of the old towers Tamerza modern building, "luxury", opened in 1992, it produced a great impression decorated with great taste interiors.
tel.: 06/45 37 22.
Rooms with a view of the old Tamerza, good cuisine. Ltd.
Following the road that branches off from the road-Metlavi Tamerza can get to the Mides (Mides). There is also an old, dilapidated part of the village, and it is located near the new settlement. Mides on both sides by deep gorges and costs, as well as neighboring Tamerza, the site of a Roman settlement.
Together with Shebika (Chebika), 131 km, the third mountain oasis located a few kilometers after Tamerza, Tamerza Mides and at one time made up the chain of posts along the border line "Limes Tripolitanus" that protects the civilized Roman "Africa proconsular" from the attacks of the barbarians of the desert . Ad positions Torres, Hell Speculum and Mades keep in touch with the lights and mirrors. Other fortifications on the Tunisian-border Tripolitanian found.
Following the road C16, you cross the marsh Chott el Shebika for Garza. In this rather gloomy place only joy of the experience can deliver change unless mirages.
In El Hamma (El-Hamma), 174 km, again you get into the territory of Jerid oases. El Hamma is renowned for its healing geothermal waters are still used in Roman times to treat many ailments. From this starting point to travel, Tozer, there are still 9 km
The fate of the nomads
Long gone are the days when the nomads can live in deserts and steppes of Africa Privolny and warlike life. Since the beginning of the colonial conquest in the mid XIX century. Sahara came the more normal times, which was associated with the "liberation" of farmers from the yoke that had been forced upon them by nomads.
No matter how heavy was the fate of farmers, they were dependent on their masters nomads to the same extent that they depended on the ability to obtain labor of the farmer. This kind of relationship was, in fact, held together by mutual obligations: the nomads needed grain, and farmers - livestock and goods delivered nomadic caravans across the desert.
Free men, as many called themselves nomadic tribes despised peasant life, they could not have imagined that their children and grandchildren someday zavedut me gardens and sow grain. However, the colonial conquest and national boundaries have significantly reduced the possibility of moving to the nomads, and the buses and the trucks made their caravans simply unnecessary.
Nomads began to settle on the outskirts of the oasis entire clans. Men hired workers in the gardens, and the women were forced to sell their jewelry, which previously passed from generation to generation.
Even now, many of the former "free people" unable to engage in a systematic agricultural work. Only a few of them managed to pull the winning ticket. These have got a driver's license and then embarked on a journey. Now they carry tourists.