Across the border in our lux louage

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End May 20, 2008

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Flag of Algeria  ,
Saturday, November 3, 2007

Made it into Algeria today!  Our tour leader got her visa at the border because the guy behind the counter decided she was an 'angel'...hmmmm.  The group had taken bets on whether she would or would not be joining us in Algeria...

We are staying at a 3 star hotel which is under construction...suprise.  The best bit is that there is a bucket of water and a scoop next to the toilet that you use to flush the loo!  I thought only India was special like this...but alas apparently North Africa is dialed in as well.  We had a bit of a wander through the 'town of a thousand domes' with our local guide, Sidi, and driver who was there to watch over us.  He told us that there was a civil war from 1993 to 2000 and over 200,000 Algerians died...this on top of the war for independence from France previously which claimed countless lives. It has not been an easy time here and there really are not very many tourists.  We have been well received but are definitely a major curiosity. 

We made our way though the local market which was closed early evening in contrast to those we visited in Tunisia and Egypt which were bustling with activity well into the night.  The old mosque minaret was locked but two young boys found the caretaker and he opened it up for us and also showed us the library associated with the mosque with such pride.  We had to use torches and illuminated cell phones to light the way up the minaret because there were no lights but the view from the top was great!  We head into the Southern Sahara for au-naturale camping in a few days...should be spectacular.
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