In its 27th episode, Alf Thneya we thneya, capsule of 1001Tunisie sponsored by La Badira (https://www.facebook.com/labadira/) and its Spa by Clarins, takes you to visit southern Tunisia. A magnificent universe where sand dunes exceed 150 meters. This immersion is not only a promise of disconnection. It is also and above all a guarantee of a return to basics; human values, respect for nature and others.
To try to glimpse the secrets of a nature as strong and austere as the Sahara to be satisfied with a local guide, experienced and widely qualified is essential. Choosing a native of the Sahara, a passionate and respectful of his land to introduce you to the art and how to live there is even more important. Three days spent in the Sahara of Douz, guided by the care of Arbi Ben Abdallah, camel guide and accompanist of the desert rallies, proves itself a step.
Arbi moves in the Sahara as in his own garden. He passes from guide to runner to mischievous dancer skimming the dunes and observing them to find his way and avoid becoming a prisoner of an angry Sahara, the time of a storm. Finding your marks, identifying passages and ensuring the best tracks for the convoy of 4 * 4, motorcycles or trucks is the daily life of the young man.
If the job of Arbi is to guide in the Sahara, his sense of welcome and “duty” takes over as soon as the sun begins to set. On the site of the camp, he changed his job and assumed a role of attentive host: The tent is quickly installed, the fire is on and the herbal tea (or black tea) is quickly ready.
While travelers take the time to go barefoot on the sand and breathe a dry and invigorating air, the traditional bread of the Sahara, “khobz el mella”, is already cooking. “El mella” is the state of the wood after the fire and before the ashes. It allows you to bake bread without yeast in 15 minutes. Buried in the sand, the bread comes out of golden earth, crisp and clean after some energetic caresses.
When the stars start to twinkle, Arbi becomes a storyteller and comes alive by telling his region: “The Sahara of Douz is much more difficult to cross than those of Algeria and Libya. Moreover, the participants in the rallies often come to train here. Our Sahara has several entrances between the dunes, which we call “doors”. When we go down through these entrances (ridges), we find hollows (basins) where we can take a break. To advance between the dunes, it is necessary to advance like a snake or a camel. This we learn from our early childhood. From this learning depends our survival “.
Arbi Ben Abdalah adds that to love the Sahara is imperative to be able to live there: “It is imperative to love the Sahara and respect its silence, we must also learn how to save water, food and wood for warming up and cooking Here, knowing the water points where you can stock up is vital – we do not joke with the Sahara! “
During this trip that I urge you to take, we were treated to all the whims of Mother Nature; the wind, the rain, the blue sky, the storm, the hail, the mist … And in the Sahara, when the elements are unleashed, it does not laugh! By the way, and before I even went there, I called this trip “back to roots”. It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought.
That said, this adventure has been edifying on one point, the gentleness and generosity of the men of the desert is matched only by the beauty of the sea of sand which passes according to the blue sky, the yellow to the gold and ocher to bronze.
When beauty and serenity mingle, we can understand that in the space of a few days, some can turn into a poet or catch the virus of the great outdoors.
You have probably understood, this trip conquered me, and I urge you. The Sahara is magical, and it must be appreciated. However, before you go, arm yourself with a good guide and a good dose of respect. Because respect is the key word of this trip. The respect of the nature and the man are the only key to be allowed to glimpse most of the Sahara.
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