Camel Chaos, North Africa

60220311_445887476177413_7748947104583647232_n.jpg Cola drinking camels, vast deserts including the world famous Sahara, cute little markets and white sandy beaches. That is my trip to Tunisia, North Africa. After arriving in Tunisia, I first took a coach to Sousse in the central east of the country, this took about 2 hours. Upon the journey to Sousse, you can immediately tell the different setting this country gives off. The vast of bare land are bare and dessert looking. 61547474_318899239010955_1792309557930754048_n I went in March hoping for some sunshine (after rainy England). I certainly got that! The sun was shining most days and the temperature stood at a lovely 24 degrees. This is a much more bearable warmness to what I’m used to with my other destinations. The beaches were clear white sand and the ocean turquoise blue to match the clear blue skies. I would recommend bringing a jacket if you visit this time of year as the evenings can be quite chilly, but all in all this is a great destination for some early sunshine! The amount of tourists were minimal and the sun was shining high. Camel Experience 61233933_440655123419658_626821073505091584_nI want to share a personal experience regarding tourist attractions first and foremost because its laughable. But also to highlight the relevance of thinking smart when booking tourist activities.  I would recommend going with a reputable travel company. I paid for a camel trip for about £10 English money, from a random guy that approached me on the beach. I’ve done more crazy things right? I did not end up riding the camel… lets put it that way. I was picked up at around 9am by a taxi that took our small group to the camels. Upon our arrival we were taken to a single camel (for 6 of us), a donkey, and 2 horses, all attached to a small wooden carriage. The guys placed a white headscarf on all of our heads, to then demand payment for them. I started off on the carriage, which turned out extremely lucky as it started tipping it down with rain on this morning. The poor lady on the camel was drenched through and asked to get off and join me and my boyfriend in the carriage.  The other guy, was an extremely happy French man, I’m not sure what his deal was. He was rocking back and fourth, smiling and taking the whole experience extremely seriously and positively, in an Indiana Jones kind of way. I want to know what this guy eats for breakfast every day, as I think we all need some. After everybody made a very claustrophobic trip on the carriage to the companies ‘base’ in the middle of nowhere in a vast of empty land, we were given a bottle of Coca Cola to give to the camels in the fields. I didn’t pay for a drink myself.
The positives part comes next… we came across a camel there that had just given birth to a baby. They were super friendly (as camels go) and great to interact with. They also had a lady making bread outside. This was fascinating to watch and the bread was better than any type of bread you can buy from a shop. We then made the trip back, by which point it had stopped raining. Everybody got in the carriage this time, apart from the happy French man who bounced on the camel! Seriously, this guys spirit was inspiring. Scenery The country is beautiful. We explored many beaches, some hidden, they’re great to check out with picture perfect white sand and turquoise blue stretches of sea. Theres a lot of abandoned buildings and houses to explore and tall palm trees stand tall in the sun everywhere you go. I saw a resemblance to Bali beaches here, I would recommend ignoring anybody who tries to offer you ‘freebies’, as my boyfriend found when he was given a packet of nuts for free and then chased down the beach for money for them.
Medina of Sousse is easily accessible by coach or cab. A prime example of the early centuries architecture of Islam in Maghreb, it contains the Great Mosque of Sousse and the entire area is based within a castle like fortress. The market gives you a real feel for the culture, filled with stalls and stands of various clothing, jewellery and hand weaved carpets. It is easily accessible by coach or cab and extremely worth taking a day out to visit, with its famous unique architecture. Bloggers you will love it! The people are generally friendly, although I found some to me more hostile than other markets I have visited in for instance, South East Asia. Be wary of some of the people there, as they are your best friends until you do not want to buy something. I did however find most to be friendly and welcoming. Stay vigilant and safe whilst you are exploring this beautiful heritage site, I would recommend going, I think it is a must see that you simply can’t miss out on whilst in Tunisia. 61100701_1325376380953839_791419420177072128_nThe shisha bars (this is one for the adults), are also super cool. They are cheap (around £10) and are great environments to hang out with friends and chill out after a long day. On the side you could also put in an order of Nutella crepes, double bonus! Alcohol is another thing I would be aware of, with these few issues encountered I ask you to bare in mind I have had some months off travelling and seemed to have lost my edge at first. In Tunisia, drinking is not a huge part of Muslim Tunisian culture. Only upscale restaurants will sell alcoholic drinks. On the menu, I went out with some friends and ordered ‘Pina Coladas’. When they came I straight away realised that I had done enough bar work to know when a drink has no alcohol in it. We asked and they confirmed this, however, these drinks will still be the same price as what you would expect to pay for an alcoholic drink. So just be wary of this, and ask before you order! Either way, they were delicious and extremely well presented, so I would recommend these alcohol free Pina Coladas all the way! Money wise, Tunisia is an easily affordable country when approaching from a country such as the UK. Food averages only a matter of pounds, perhaps £5-6 for a huge meal and a drink. When I was shopping in the supermarket prices were relatively cheap apart from tourist products and brands. This is the same in any country. Travel is cheap, taxis are very well priced. This is not a country that you need a huge budget for. Tunisia has some beautiful sights, a fascinating culture, and the nature is just breathtaking. I hope you can learn from some of my errors and enjoy your time here! I look forward to taking on South Africa and making comparisons as I explore this continent further in the future. 61500474_333799633978684_7243283519445663744_n

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