A full day relaxing at the lake, fixing our bikes and swimming in the hot water. We realize that there are more tourists than in the past years; we are told that tourism has increased by 70%.
Fifth day: Ain Ouadette-Dekenis
Today we head for Dekenis, other landmark for visitors. We reach it easily for the trail has ruts made by other passing vehicles and is rather fast. We stop to wait for the others; due to a misunderstanding with our guides, when we separate again we take the wrong route which is a wide track where our bikes fly at high speed.
After a few kilometers, we realize that we are going the wrong way, so Raffaele decides to backtrack to where we were when we separated, but our guides already left. We try phoning, but no one answers; without panicking we decide to take the trail for the Kasar Ghilane oasis, the destination for our following day, and after 15 km we rejoin them. It’s almost sunset so we immediately setup camp. The morning after we proceed for the oasis. After deciding to meet at Zmela Labrissa, a little well-kept hotel, we motorcyclist leave first, as always. The trail is like a motocross race; jumps, berms, wow …real fun. Upon our arrival, the owner, who’s very nice and funny, brings us something to drink; we stay for about one hour before heading for the oasis. In the distance we see a wide green blur, but as soon as we reach one of the entrances the illusion vanishes … tarmac, yes tarmac to bring tourists. For who, like us, experienced a “natural” oasis with sand all around, it’s a disappointment, but we understand that tourism is a source of income. We take a dip in a hot water pond and relax until the others join us. At the restaurant we eat local food, which is always slightly hot but tasty and then move to the campsite where some of us choose a room over the tent.
Last section: Ksarghilane-Douz
Last day with the dunes. The guide is in front of us for a few kilometers until we hit the famous “straight on” i.e. a straight line to Douz over rows of dunes, while Walter, on his bike which is not in perfect condition, follows the guide along the trail. Last hours of freedom and then … back to every day’s harsh reality. Our guide booked dinner at the best restaurant of Douz, Il Elbay, where we eat meat and vegetables cooked in a tagine, a conical pot made of clay, placed on embers inside a hole. Everything is delicious, the only little problem, for us, is the lack of alcohol, but, despite this, the evening turns out very well because all of us share impressions on our adventure. One single question from all: When are we coming back?
We are already working on the next trip.
Goodbye from Estremo Confine and thank you Sandro, Franco, Walter, Lorenzo, Sandro P., Andrea, Enrico, Raffaele, Carlo, Riccardo, Maurizio.
Text and photos: Franco Turato