Tunisia – Sidi Bou Said and Carthage – July 21-23

Left as scheduled for our sail to Sidi Bou Said (marina) and arrived around 11:30 AM. We started boat laundry and put up the tent to shade us for the day. Since Malta, the weather has been very hot with little wind and the tent has made it bearable for us during the day.

Coming into Sidi Bou Said Harbor

View of Harbor from hilltop village – can you see Grateful Red?

Our makeshift tent to give us shade

As Ken and I have found, many villages are up a hill from the marina’s that we have stayed in and this village was no different. Village BouSaid is a relatively small area with one main street of shops for the bused in tourists. Internet Café’s are absent here and even the few hotels did not provide for their guests, so our blog updates and emails had to wait.

Cemetary on top of Sidi Bou Said

View looking toward Golfe de Tunis

On Friday, we arranged with our new friend Jaz to have him pick us up and take us to Sidi Bousid, and check out the local souk (Market). As we drove, Jaz gave us a wonderful tour and pointed out many points of interest. Reaching the city, Jaz pointed out the square where the young, unemployed college graduate set himself on fire in protest. Our hope as humble visitors is that their voices will be heard and civil and political grievances will be addressed and some solidarity is found.

National Guard, Police and Military presence are still seen, along with Barbwire barriers

Our visit to a Souk (market)

Our tour through the Souk took us to one of the highest vista’s in the city. To get there we had to walk through a beautiful carpet shop with several floors. When we were on the roof, we heard the calls to prayer which for me, only experiencing it on TV, found it very moving.

Paula with our Tunisian friend Jaz

As we walked back down through the carpet shop, we were invited into one of the “sales” rooms and were given a demonstration and lesson on fine carpet. It soon turned into a sales pitch and Paula found a small carpet that was negotiated on and agreed upon. Paula and Fred left with their package securely wrapped and tied.

On our way home, we decided that Paula and I should take a cab to the Carrfor Supermarket to get some provisions. Being a Friday (a Holy day for Tunisia), no alcohol is sold. We did not know this and realized it might be a dry several days until we reached Spain!

Fred, Paula and Molly ended up taking Jaz and his wife to dinner and Ken and I spent a quiet evening on the boat

The fuel dock that appears to have not been operational for some time!
Saturday, July 23rd, we wanted to leave at 8AM, but found that the harbor master was not in his office (hours posted, but not always observed). We moved the boat to what we thought was the fuel dock to further our departure while we waited for him to show up. The fuel dock had not been in operation for what appeared some time but while we were there waiting, it seems the dock hands were given permission to take our payment for the berth. Ken got our papers from the National Guard and we left for Besirk around 9AM.

Molly at the helm

Winds varied during the day from 10kts to 25kts and we sailed mostly with furled jib.

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