Friday, 21 March 2008

Day 39

We left Tunis on Wednesday morning after picking up our vehicle and have been touring the north western part of Tunisia. It is more beautiful than I can describe right now and there are surprisingly few tourists. This is the first time I've been anywhere that has had such few tourists from Europe and North America and so many from throughout the Muslim world ... and even they are few and far between.

Having been born in a place that makes its living from tourism and living in one that benefits heavily from tourism, I have to say that it is an incredibly refreshing experience to not have any and everything packaged for my 'entertainment' and 'comfort'.

This is not to say that Tunisia doesn't have that kind of tourism, because it does. It has fully exploited its coastal area in the North East of the country and created a 'Zone Touristique' complete with luxury hotels and spas etc.

The rest of Tunisia however, is what it is ... a take it or leave it experience. So far the north west has been an incredibly verdant and fertile landscape of soft rolling hills and plains where farmers till the land and tend their flocks of sheep and goats as they have for centuries. The area has an extensive network of roads that are as smooth as butter and connect even the most remote villages. Drivers dominate the roads and farmers and herders on donkeys dominate the shoulders of the roads… a great melding of modern and old. In fact, a wonderful melding of old and new best describes Tunisia. Everywhere the latest in western clothing is combined with traditional Berber clothing and the hijab; and contemporary Arabic and traditional Berber music mingle with the Muslim call to prayer.

I'm taking lots of photos but forgot my cable so can’t upload them until I get back home.

In other news, my food and exercise have been excellent. Haven't deviated by even an iota from my food plan. We go to the market every morning to buy cheese, yogurt, fruit and vegetables and alternate between those purchases and sampling the local cuisine. I have been walking an average of 5 miles every day (my pedometer is American and only gives distance in miles, but I think that’s about 7 or 8 kilometers.
Like people everywhere Tunisians encourage you to eat and eat, but every time I think of deviating from my food plan, I think of my very kind French sponsor who has been so supportive of me and I think of all of you guys and gals out there working to stay on track in your demanding lives and just keep saying, ‘La bar a kalow feek,’ which is ‘No thank you’ in Arabic.

I don’t have time to visit everyone tonight because my honey is waiting to go to dinner but the next time I find a cafĂ© I will check everyone out. Thanks for your lovely comments and support. They keep me strong.


  1. How did you ever think to go to Tunisia for vacation? I don't think it would have ever crossed my mind (until now) as a place to go.

    Good on you for sticking with your plan. It sounds like your vacation LENDS itself to a healthful eating and exercising regimine. The walking is excellent! That is my preferred way of exploring a place, so my vacations are full of walking.'

    Cannot wait to see your pictures!

  2. No, thank you, I have been weighing up scoffing a fruit bun as I'm starving, but now will stick to my planned snack. Also can't wait to see the pictures.

  3. If your photos are any indication, you are just getting hotter and hotter every day!

    I have not been to the middle east or Africa, so I can only imagine what wonderful and amazing experiences you are having, and the beautiful sights that you are beholding. Post more photos when you can!!

  4. Kudos to you for staying on your plan on holiday. I always use a holiday as an excuse to indulge. Nice to see you can have a great time without overeating. Well done.


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