Day 6  Into The Sahara Desert

Tunisian Proverb: They asked the female cat why her kittens were of different colours; she said she is embarrassed to say no.

I was up before sunrise to explore this town called Matmata. The troglodytes have been the homes for the locals for centuries and they were only “discovered” by outsiders / foreigners in the 60’s. And they would probably have stayed a little known fact if the Star Wars creators did not think that is the type of home that would suit Luke Skywalker. 

After breakfast at our hotel we visited the hotel that now owns Luke Skywalker’s home.

Then we headed to the town Douz. Here we spent time exploring the traditional town square with all its locally made handcrafts and the date oasis while waiting for our 4 x 4 drive into the Sahara desert. 

I do want to tell about Fouta. Its a thin, patterned cloth woven from linen or cotton. At Madame Rabaa’s guesthouse we used them as bath towels and I was very impressed. Here at this market today I bought a few, some to give as gifts and three for myself. A Fouta can have so many uses – sarong, bath towel, sheet, curtain, tablecloth, a throw on a sofa or bed, wear it as a scarf. Once I was home and I had started using mine (and had given away the once bought s gifts) I regretted not buying more. The Fouta originated in Tunisia and spread into the Mediterranean countries and today they are often referred to as Turkish Bath Towels. 

I will let the pictures do all the talking about the rest of this day.

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Leaving the oasis and heading into the Sahara desert.

This evening we camp in the desert. At the campsite there are two Bedouin tents and a clay-brick building. We are hoping to sleep in a bedouin tent and really experience the desert. No such luck, our driver / guide / cook / bodyguard refused to sleep while we were outside under the stars. So to keep him happy we eventually moved into the building equipped with mattresses and a door with a sturdy lock and key. In retrospect it was a good idea as it was really cold that night. 

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