About perfidy wet marsh Chott el Jerid is a rumor in the Duse, where the market settles on Thursday, one of the most colorful, the most impressive in the region. The trip takes one day (the same and public transport) and a detour through Gafsa phosphate mining district near Metlavi requires an overnight stay in Duse, and realize it can only be on the car.
After ** Tozer (Tozeur) (p. 48) S106 highway passes through the blossoming gardens oases and small villages. The largest oasis in the way Degash (Degache) does not have any attractions. The road leading towards the wet marsh Chott el Jerid. Back in the 70's. this marsh could cross only one road, which in the winter, after the rains, often become impassable. At present, after the construction of the dam is a journey through marsh is not a problem, but the way the Congress is still associated with the hazards.
The chain of small villages leads tourists to the administrative center of the oasis Nefzava (Nefzaoua) - Kebili (Kebili), 126 km. Semi-nomads herding their flocks near the town of Douz ** (Douz), belong to the tribe marazigov. Every Thursday they and peasants from neighboring oasis of Douz to come to market. Visiting this market is for the tourist truly unforgettable experience thanks to its two following features. First, it is trade with dates - a serious and intense activity, as measured by significant mine foremen and tracking of trade. Second, it is some way away land, intended for trading cattle and poultry. Near several lean camel can see donkeys, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and in dense crowd people exchange news, compare prices, welcome friends. To come to the market as soon as possible, because in the afternoon most of the vendors will be already on the way home.
Second, you need to make sure to Duse, - to visit on trips to the sands of El Hofra (El Hofra). Within 4 miles south of the dunes rocky desert turns into sand. Before the new modern hotels camel drivers together with their four assistants waiting naive tourists wanting a ride.
The most important event in the Duse is Sahara Festival, which is usually held at the end of December. At the festival brings together representatives of the various tribes of the area and was started dancing, equestrian events, as well as celebrating the traditional wedding.
Three wet marsh, Schott elDzherid, Chott el-Garza and Schott elFedzhadzh fill basin 200 km, located in the south-west of Tunisia. Level the surface barely above sea level, and sometimes even fall below it. Thanks to the intense evaporation of water from the interior of the marshes on their surface a solid crust. Since the inhabitants of these places can remember, took the path through the salt marshes, known only to experienced guides and always ready to disappear in a sudden rain. A traveler who got lost in the salt marsh of the way, threatening a terrible death. Legends speak of a caravan of thousands of people, supposedly sunk in Chott El Jerid.
Now on the marsh surface, which in summer is as strong as bulletproof glass, conduct sports such motocross or racing iceboat. Most extravagant (and quiet) way inspection marsh and its surroundings would probably balloon flight (information on this can be obtained from the Office Aeroasis, Tel. 06/45 23 61).
ONTT, Place de Martyrs, information on the dates of the festival.
Bus: Tozeur, Kebili, Gabes, Tunisia.
Hotels in the dunes of El Hofra identical on both prices and service. GS
tel.: 05/47 02 45
fax: 05/49 50 88.
Roses de Sables,
tel.: 05/49 53 66.
To return to Tozeur we again cross the Chott el Jerid. The quality of the road along the coast is high. The tiny village encountered along the way, often consist of only a few thatched huts, in which the former nomads are trying to lead a new, settled life.
Kebili of in-Tozer, 252 miles, you can return the same way or to the arc length of about 100 km: go on the road leading to the north, over the Chott el Fedzhadzh (Schott el - Fedjadj). This way you can follow only in dry weather. To do so, must go on the road in the direction of Gabes, and then turn away from it with road sign «Gafsa» and head north.
The route crosses the gray-brown marsh Chott el Fedzhadzh and about 30 km slowly climb up the hills. At the 55th km of the road there is a mountain pass in the vicinity of which are still visible traces of Roman fortifications. Then you can see the silhouette of Burj Kanget Um Ali, one of the forts built by the French, although it was founded, apparently, the Berbers. Even after about 11 km, turn left at the RN15 highway and drive in the direction from Gabes to Gafsa.
Gafsa (Gafsa; 70,000 inh.) - A very important transport hub and major economic center of the region. Of interest are the two sets of Roman baths connected by pipes near the Casbah, in our time, the water is supplied from the same geothermal source.
Kasbah of highway RN3 out in the south-west, and on it - through a rather dull area - you can get to the mountains surrounding Metlavi - phosphate mining center in Tunisia (p. 88).
Here the road again turns to the south, and at 40 miles on it can re-enter ** Tozer, 252 km.