We drive into a harbour, just want to spend the night here. No problem, just quickly go to the police. Show them your passports, take down your names. Everything is clear. "Bon Nuit!"
Next campsite: we are on the side of the road, directly on the beach. Here, too, the police roam around us several times. This time they don't ask, but they have us very much on their radar.
On the roads through Tunisia, there are often police checkpoints at major intersections and city entrances. We are always waved through. Nevertheless, the police presence is unusual for us at first.
Of course, we knew that this would be the case. And we have prepared ourselves for it. Nevertheless, seeing it live is disconcerting at first. On the second day it's okay and on the third day we don't even notice the presence anymore.
Interesting how quickly we get used to the street scene.
In Hergla we are even asked to sleep right next to the police building, they say it is really safer. We notice that it is a real effort for our safety. Yet we don't feel unsafe in the country at all.
What we and also the police in Hergla completely overlook is, besides the proximity to the "Garde Nationale" (security!), the proximity to the "Garde Nationale" (noise!). All evening (okay, with the exception of the period of the World Cup football matches), all night and all morning, fat-motorised (or loud-haired?) cars arrive, leave, arrive, leave. The periods when they are in front of the building, of course, the engine stays on. It would be stupid to turn off the engine for half an hour.
The night was still okay, we felt very good and the morning with a view of the small harbour more than compensated for the noise at night. In addition, there were some small cat-children in the harbour and my husband had his hands full.
Basically, however, after almost two weeks in Tunisia, we can say that free standing is absolutely no problem here. There are many free parking spaces (in low season?) and the possibility of spending the evening and morning somewhere with the best view is absolutely feasible. The police are OK and don't really bother us.
Drinking water & waste disposal?
We as ecologists have a hard time: drinking water is only available in plastic bottles. We do fill our "fresh water tank" with double-filtered water, but from now on it will only be used for washing up and showering. Coffee, brushing teeth and cooking in general can only be done with bottled water for the time being. But here, too, we have a strategy: always use a little more from the chlorinated water tank. First for brushing teeth, then maybe for boiling potatoes. Let's see if we notice anything in terms of taste or if our stomachs rebel.
Waste water is a very special issue. There are almost no public disposal facilities here. On the very rare campsites, it's a bucket-by-bucket solution. Only to find out that it all goes into the normal sewage system anyway. So we could also "let it run" at the roadside at one of the few sinkholes. Let's see how this develops.
And to the Topic rubbish I'll write about it separately, later, when we've got over the rubbish shock of the first week.
News #1 On 24 June we will give a talk about our trip in the van in Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland. All info and the possibility to Registration here. We look forward to seeing you!
News #2 I am currently writing a book about the encounters on our journey. If you would like to test-read a chapter or two this summer, please contact me by email.
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