Dave the motorhome hasn’t moved from his spot at Camping El Hassan just outside Gafsa – not that he’s worried about losing his space if he does move, we’re still the only ones here!
This morning we had two choices, get up early and head over to The Lezard Rouge train, our next destination, or have a lie in, wander into the town and let all our washing dry and head over to the train tomorrow. No need to tell you which option won.
The sun has been shining all day, and while it’s t-shirt and shorts hot, it’s warm enough for us to wander around without coats. After adding more videos to youtube overnight (when we have unlimited data) I added titles and comments to them this morning then inserted them into the relevant updates. If you look back you can see them in the ones over the past few days, or you can view them all on our youtube channel.
As we chatted with the campsite owner on our way out he offered us a lift into town, but it was such a beautiful day we declined and walked the two and a half kilometres along the dusty road. Either side of us it was harvest time and family groups collected olives from the trees. Unlike the Italians, who put a large net around the tree and rake the olives onto it, here the man climbs a ladder and prunes the tree, passing the branches down to the women who pick the olives off. The rest are then collected from the floor – back-breaking work. One group was singing as we passed, all groups looked round to see Charlie.
Our little pooch is quite the star attraction, he’s even gaining the interest of the local dogs who bark as they charge towards him, Jay (previously armed with a bit of bamboo until it snapped) fends them off by pretending to pick up stones. As we reached the town people eyes looked downwards in disbelief, a few made cooing and kissing noises, one man looked scared and jumped out of the way – reaction to Charlie is always is a mixed bag. We wondered how differently people would look at us if we weren’t accompanied by the little bundle of fur.
Although it wasn’t market day in town, that’s Wednesday, the place was packed. Traffic was either at a standstill or just crawling along slower than we walked, but there were no blaring horns, people just took it in their stride. Streets lined with market stalls (I don’t know where the market day stalls go when they do arrive) selling everything from vegetables and fruit to jeans that hang around your backside and washing machines. Jay bought a local newspaper in French and some more spuds. Only one person tried to get us into their shop to look at stuff – a refreshing change from the constant harassment in Morocco.
After a quick walk past the Great Mosque we strolled around the Kasbah, its pinkly picturesque crenellated walls looking remarkably fresh. One side contains the law courts, which fill a gap where an explosion in an Allied ammunition dump in 1943 blew out most of a wall. Then we were back on the dusty road to the campsite. Pick-up trucks, taxis and mopeds passed occasionally, no wonder we drew stares driving down here yesterday.
Back at the campsite Jay cooked us up some eggy bread for lunch (two items in abundance around here) then we set about doing some ‘work’. Well it is Monday and we aren’t snowed in! Jay started to populate a spreadsheet with places to stay in Tunisia (we’ll publish it once it’s complete) and I did some writing to help promote our book, as the more we sell – the longer we can stay on the road!
The sun has set and our heater is back on as it has gone chilly. The last of our clothes are almost dry and Jay returned from a pooch walk with some prickly pears off a nearby cactus – free food! This time he sensibly used a bag to pick them, no more spiky spines in fingers! Tonight we’ll prep Dave for an early start in the morning, the train departs at 10am and only goes once a day, that might mean getting up before 8am – gulp!!