We hired a car in Hammamet, and drove south, via Kairouan, to stay in the desert town of Douz on the edge of the Sahara.
The Tunisian Sahara is known as the Grand Erg Oriental – and erg translates as ‘field of dunes’.
Our journey took us across the Chott El Jerid, the largest salt pan of the Sahara, where temperatures can soar to 50° C. Halfway across, we parked at the edge of the sun-baked road and tentatively stepped out onto the salt crust. Mirages of castles and spaceships shimmered in the distance, as elusive as rainbow-ends.
Eventually we reached Douz, where minarets and blue-shuttered houses appeared ghostly in the half-light of dusk, and the pale dunes, as fine as icing sugar, rolled into the seeming infinity of the Sahara.
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