Civitavecchia to Tunis by Ferry

Trip Start Jul 26, 2010
Trip End Oct 31, 2010

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 5 & 6

On the 4th of July we left Ladispoli for Civitavecchia to catch our ferry to Tunisia. We made a stop off along the way to grab some lunch where Chezzy, for some obscure reason, ran off to the beach to collect some sea sand. This puzzled us all, and he came back looking proud of himself and expecting lunch to be ready. Unfortunately the language barrier had got the best of us again and we couldn't communicate to order.

So we left hungry to book in at the ferry to ensure that we weren’t late. We had about a four hour wait before we could board. Our lodgings consisted of 2 bunk beds in a cramped room, but there was a private bathroom and electricity, and for that we were very grateful. We took the opportunity to get all our admin out the way, charging computers, camera batteries etc and then made our way onto the deck for our first fines meeting of the trip.

Things started relatively slowly with Spoon constantly trying to find signal for the satellite phone, and the rest of us more preoccupied with photographing the Mediterranean sunset than with drinking. Eventually we all manned up and started dishing out the fines.

Rob was fined for his driving stint on the Alps and being ginger. Dave was fined for his disappearing act at the Vatican, Chezzy for trying to eat his body weight at every opportunity and being embarrassingly whipped. Spoon was fined for trying to Dutchman everything, being unsociable (running around with the sat phone looking for signal) and just about everything else we could make up. The night was an extremely jolly affair and we all went to bed feeling a lot less stressed and amped for our arrival in Africa.

We awoke on the 5th expecting to see African shores on the horizon but were sadly mistaken. We had arrived in Sicily and were stuck on board in 40C heat for 6 hours before we were on our way again. We arrived in Tunis at 6pm, hoping by some miracle that Tunisia would be like the last 4 borders we went through.

Boy were we to be disappointed. The first section of Customs went relatively smoothly with only Chezzy coming away with burnt pride when the Tunisian Customs lady laughed in his face for being the only white 'Zimbo boy’ she had ever seen, even calling her friend over to have a look. The stumbling block came when we arrived at the car search area. Our car was very quickly given the all clear, but we had a few documents that still needed stamping. Spoon went off to queue, but after an hour of no movement Chezzy and Rob went to go help out, whilst Dave guarded the car. We decided to split up, each ended up in a different queue and hoping to get lucky. After another hour and a half of true African queueing and people pushing in at every opportunity we got our stroke of luck when Spoon found a less busy area and we managed to get through at 8.30pm. It had taken us two and a half hours to get through one African border post, and is an ominous sign of things to come.

We found our hotel, the Yadis Ibn Khaldoun, much more to our liking. With friendly staff and smart rooms we felt like the day’s slog was finally worth it. In true African style we were immediately conned into buying a 28 Dinar meal.

Before settling into our room, we were shown around the corner to the parking garage where we would have to pay 6TD. Unfortunately with all the extra on the roof, Corrie was stopped at the entrance by the security indicating that Corrie was over the 2m height limit. Chezzy thinking this is Africa, anything is negotiable, started trying to bargain for a higher entrance fee for Corrie because of its height. We not sure how he thought a higher price would magically make the garage bigger for Corrie to fit into, but we think he got the idea when the security guard started laughing at him.
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Janelle on

Such a Chezzy!

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