We had to get up very early before dawn, quickly eat breakfast and pack our stuff into jeeps. Everything in order to reach the desert before daybreak...
We marvel at beautiful sunrise and then set forth, supposedly partly along the Paris – Dakar route. By the way, the fact that the Rally did not take place recently is another sign of Europe’s downfall under the leadership of socialists. Fortunately there is still South America! And, getting back to our rams – jeeps are comfortable, brand-new, with big, comfy seats. It is a far cry from the vehicles we were travelling in, during our Bolivia trip. My buttocks still remember a journey to Pampa... There were only two narrow, hard benches along the side of that jeep... and, on the way back, it was raining, jeep got bogged down in the “road” and one had to push it wallowing knee-deep in mud... Yes, this whole expedition to the Sahara is a piece of cake, even for my son who is not even one year old!
Frankly, I’m not sure whether it is a part of the Paris-Dakar Rally route or not. Maybe it’s just a gimmick but, undoubtedly, our driver does his best to make it seem as the famous Rally. He’s cut out to be an actor of horror movies, he has very extensive repertoire of gestures by means of which he varies our journey. Driving directly behind another jeep he waves his hand fighting off clouds of dust giving to understand that he can’t see a thing. When he intentionally drives into some rough terrain, so that the car inclines at an angle of some 45 degrees, he holds on against the ceiling and shouts: ‘AJAJAJAJAJJJJ’.
In a few words, there was more fun than fear and we all liked it very much, maybe apart from one of our friends who was throwing up his breakfast through half the journey... We were travelling across the desert for almost an hour and, in the end, we visited a place on a map of Tunisia where George Lucas was shooting pictures for the Star Wars. An interesting fact by the way, Lucas borrowed a name for the Tatooine planet from the real, nearby town called Tataouine (تطاوين).
Tatooine is a small planet on the periphery of galaxy rotating around two types of suns, G1 and G2. Most of its surface is desert, and the extraordinary yellow glare of the planet, typical of stars, is caused by intense light of two suns that falls on sands rich in sodium. Conditions are well expressed by a local saying that
it’s easier to burn one’s eyes staring at sun-baked, sandy plains of Tatooine rather than by looking at two suns of the planet. In order to make it possible to live here at all, one has to get water with much difficulty from the scorching atmosphere and force it into dried up soil by means of sprinklers.
The most important city – Mos Eisley – is a haven of the lousiest gang of scoundrelly and dubious characters. The Jabba palace and one of the four spaceports of the planet are situated here as well. The city was built so as to ensure protection against the solar radiation of twin suns.
A distinctive place is Ong Jemal (The Head of a Camel) and, close to it, there was also a route of chaser races that regularly take place here. Unfortunately, they were banned after the Empire took over control of the planet.
After destruction of the Empire and restoring of Republic, Tatooine planet became famous all over the galaxy and crowds of tourist come here to see the home planet of a war hero, Jedi knight – Luke Skywalker.