Jerba: Dirt and shrubs

Trip Start Mar 04, 2010
Trip End Mar 10, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hasdrubal Thalassa Resort

Flag of Tunisia  , Madanīn,
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

For three nights we stayed in Jerba, a small island off the northeast coast of Tunisia. Jerba is a tourist-populated resort island with flat, dirt-laden terrain pocked by cacti and shrubs.  Apparently, the beaches are popular with the Euros during the summer.  But after staying there for three days, I just didn't get it. 


The resort was a nice enough place to stay, but I don’t see the attraction.  Maybe, because it was low season, we didn’t see all that Jerba has to offer.   But I’m pretty sure Jerba doesn’t have all that much to offer.  I learned that first-hand when Ed and I took a quad car tour of the island. 

A quad car is like a dune buggy, with seats for two people (one driver), four wheels, a windshield, a roll bar, and not much else.  We zipped around that island with our guide and a French couple for two hours to see what we could see.  Ed drove the car through the twisting, sharply-turning dirt backroads, which were at times treacherous, not only because the roads were narrow, but because the windy air was filled with sand and dust.  The dust that the buggies in front of us stirred up was so thick in places that we could barely see the obstacles ahead. 

So that Ed could concentrate on driving, I narrated the ride to give him an idea of the scenery.  It went something like this:

"shrubs...bricks on the right—don’t hit that…dying palm trees…dirt…cacti on both sides of the road…big pile of rocks…mound of dirt…brick wall…school children on the left…sharp right turn—look out for that big pile of rocks…beach with dirt and rocks…look out for that oncoming car…big puddle…more shrubs and cactus…" 

Seriously.  This is Jerba.


During the tour, we stopped at a small mosque on one of our breaks.  I climbed to the top of the minaret.  Ed was willing to come up to the mosque roof.  On another break we stopped on the beach among a cluster of locals selling camel rides, horse rides, or the service of taking your photo with a camel or horse.   By the conclusion of the tour, I (and everyone else) was coated with a thin venire of sand, my hair was matted from dirt as if I had plastered it with hairspray, and I could feel the grittiness of sand in my mouth.   


Jerba was a nice place for us to relax for a few days and do a whole lot of nothing, but I would not make it a future vacation destination. 

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