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December 22nd 2009
Published: July 8th 2010
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I could have had a white Christmas in the UK, but why when you can run off and enjoy sun, sand and camels in Tunisia? Christmas is supposed to be one of those fabulous times of the year and it is ... all those lovely public holidays to use up instead of leave!

Feeling a real need to get away (theme here?) Daryl and I decided to book flights to Tunis and then wing it from there. There was no planning in this trip at all except for 3 things - a car, Douz for the Festival of the Sahara and Matmata for some Star Wars action! Didn't even plan the visas ... after all who doesn't love Australia and NZ and the book said get them on arrival. Excellent advice if you're an Aussie (and have 1.5 hours to sit around and wait) ... not so good if you're a Kiwi, as you actually need one before you arrive (oops). That's a lesson we learned the hard way, but with a 10 day trip planned and a 7 day visa in hand it was off to the wilds of Tunis and beyond.

First stop was a trip up north of Tunis to Sidi Bou Said close to the ancient Roman city of Carthage. I know I've said it before, but those Romans just love leaving stuff lying all around the Mediterannean and it doesn't matter how many I visit, I still have a thirst for more! Carthage I'd have to say isn't one of the more impressive ones. Despite being scattered over a wide area, I'd have to say, seen better and if you can get out into western and central Tunisia trust me things improve rapidly! Sidi Bou Said however is another thing. It is one of those whitewashed, coloured door, rambling bougainvillia, cobbestones, on a hill kind of towns which wouldn't look out of place in any of northern Med/Agean areas. A little incongruous to Tunisian expectations, but hey I can be flexible especially with a place as pretty as this! While we were only using the town as a base to explore Carthage, it turned into the highlight and is well worth a visit.

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