23rd I left Karim’s place doing well, not knowing the madness that was ahead. As I left, his mother was upstairs on the balcony and wished me a good trip. My single interaction with her. The coast from Jijel to Bejaia is rather delightful, and I was looking forward to enjoying it. I managed to get 13km along the coast before I got to a police check point. I’d been through several before, and no-one had said anything, but here I was waved over. They asked to see
I had to wait until 9:30am for the phone shop to open, so I was looking for breakfast, but it turns out in Algeria that is pretty much an espresso and a vanilla slice if you’re feeling rich. A couple of each, and then a visit to the grocery store took up most of the time, and the rest was when I walked into a restaurant and they felt sorry enough for me that they made me a proper plate of food. Having sorted it all out, and googled for the nearest youth hostel, I was off for 100km of
Before parting ways with HS, I popped into the police station to ask about the Algerian border. Sayah, our host, had suggested it was closed to men in their 20s and 30s, and I didn’t want to go there and then have to double back if the Algerians had not wanted me to enter there. The police weren’t sure, but had heard of no problems so suggested that it should be just fine. I thanked them and stood up to walk away, but they suggested we wait a little. I was hungry, and wanted to get
Matmata is a famous town because of the quite fabulous troglodyte houses. Basically, a big hole dug in the floor that people made houses in the walls of. They became world-famous as like many things in Tunisia they were used as filming locations for Star Wars and there were plenty of signs around, aimed at all the tourists. As it was, we were again the only tourists and so we had a number of people offering to guide us around. It was a quite pretty place, and R wanted to stay for another day which
I’m going with bullet points.
- The weather got toasty, leading to HS saying how we were finally in Africa – because Africa is always hot apparently.
- We stopped in a town for lunch, went to a stand and got some small bread things as it was all that was on the menu. The owner did however mention if we wanted, we could go into the market, buy some things and he’d cook them up for us. We weren’t hungry enough, but what a nice man!
- The day ended early because R got a rear puncture. We tried to fix it 3 times but it kept failing again and so as we were right by an easy camping option (so many olive fields, so easy to camp) we just pulled his bike and bags into the field and set up camp.
- HS loves fire. His normal stove failed back around Turkey so since then has been just making regular fires to cook his dinner.
- HS also loves cooking, and makes delicious noodles and pasta.
R had said he’d wake up early to get the puncture fixed, but that didn’t happen and so after another hour of waiting and the puncture still not being fixed we came up with a new plan. Hitch a lift. R seemed to think it’d be best with all of us together, but finding a lift for 3 seemed a terrible idea and so myself and HS continued on by ourselves. R had plenty of hitchhiking experience, that’s how he’d been travelling for the previous