← previous trip: China. Next trip: Vietnam →
Trip to Tunisia with Exodus ("TMU"), walking in the Sahara.
November 2012 - hard to imagine it's winter in the real world when we're walking through the Tunisian Sahara. Temperatures would have been 29°C in the hypothetical shade - we had visited during an unseasonal heatwave.
Group of 17 lovely people - from UK, Korea, and Poland. We had an astronomer, a fiction writer, and plenty of engineers and business-people.
Day 1: Early morning flight from Tunis to Djerba, drive in bus to Douz, lunch at restaurant with the guinea-pigs and tortoises, then meet two of the camels.
Click any picture to see it full-size, or to view a panorama.
An englishman abroad.
Natasha takes-over the steering
Walking with the whole group
Iconic image of Muhammed striking-out across the Sahara
High noon in the desert
Snake camp (panorama). I was reading by torchlight and looked over to see a shadow nearby which turned out to be a viper.
Camels loaded up with tents, sleeping mats, and blankets (and musical instruments on top) ready to go.
Me, with hiking clothes. The courier-bag didn't actually work so well - carrying 3l of water with it meant aching shoulders by the evening.
The desert, yellow in the light of sunrise
All this 'sand' is actually silica dust (technically silt due to its particle size), many times finer than very fine sand
Sunset over the desert
Singing, dancing, and drums around the campfire
Video of fire
Camels waiting at campsite in the morning
There were lots of flies, although they didn't bite.
Setting-off in the morning.
Water-stop at a well
The group disappearing off into the distance while we wait for some slower people. This splitting-up of the group was mostly fixed by day 3, but led to a few people being left on their own in the desert for a while and having to follow tracks.
An area of woodland ;)
Walking off the big dunes
The star-club camp at sunset. Most people are sleeping out in the open, with only a mat, blanket, and sleeping-bag.
Sunset over the peoples' beds
Quick panorama around one of the brief water-breaks
Natasha following tracks
Wind-whipped dunes. The dust storm here was what damaged most peoples' cameras.
Blowing sand (video)
Panorama around the high dune
Blowing sand 2 (video)
Surf's up! Dust blown around the dunes
Waves over the sand
Into the dust storm
Scorpion camp. Winds were strong, and tents needed to be weighted-down with rocks.
Scorpion camp at sunset.
Scorpion tracks. This one walked up to Anna's sleeping-bag (out in the open), turned around and walked around her, arrived at my sleeping bag, walked around that, then left in a different direction.
Iconic image of camel's silhouette at sunset
Orion constellation (5 second exposure with mini-tripod)
After the high winds, the weather had changed. The first clouds of the journey.
Tracks - a small beetle crossing where a lizard had walked?
Tracks - a snake chasing a mouse, fighting with it, and both animals continuing the chase off the right of the picture. A few metres later they met a tethered camel, and we can't see what happened next.
Packing up camp
My name being written in arabic in the sand (video)
Rockier ground was much easier to walk on (panorama)
The camel train
Walking with the camel train (video)
Iconic image of bedouin resting with his camels
Lizard. They leave tracks with tiny handprints each side
Roman fort, which was later the site of a France/Germany battle in WW2. Dunes have piled-up to the height of one wall, and fill all the rooms. The people visible here are composing a desert-themed song to the tune of Abba.
Camels have a habit of wandering-off in thr night, even with legs hobbled.
Tracey, Lauren, and Natasha riding (video)
Camel-riding. Julian, me, and Anna.
Fiona on camel, and back of Hyun Jin Yoo
Fiona, Yoo, and Mike riding (video)
Hilary riding (video)
Pose for a portrait!
Camel relaxing in the evening (video)
Oasis. Pool was as warm as a bath, and slightly sulphurous.
Convoy of 3 Land-cruisers to get back to Djerba on the final day
Follow these links to download images or video.
Download original copies of all these images (not video) as a .zip file: OJW_sahara.zip (117MB)