844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Bizerte, Lake Ichkeul, & Cap Serrat (Northern Tunisia)

[Author's Note: I arrived in Tunis on September 10th, 2010 and left two months later. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia on December 18th, 2010, a day after the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi. I missed the festivities by about a month or so. Some would say I dodged a bullet but I cannot help feeling like I missed the boat. How often do you have the chance to watch history unfold from the front row? It is interesting for me to go back and read about my experiences at the time. Yes, I could almost taste repression in the air but if you told me the powder keg was about to ignite I would have been incredulous in the extreme. Yet, there it was boiling just beneath the surface. Keep this in mind when reading my Tunisia posts. It makes for a fascinating subtext.]

Oct 26th, 2010 - We headed 66 km north of Tunis to the seaside city of Bizerte and found a quaint sh**hole in which to lay our heads for the evening. There is, of course, much more commodious lodging but none of them seemed worth the extra expense. After leaving our bags behind we made our way down the street for a bit of lunch followed by a look around. The old port and medina area is a nice place for a saunter. Something about the cobblestone walkway along the small bay lined with colorful fishing boats and cafes makes one almost want to doze off. Not a bad place to watch the world go by. 

Yum, beach food. What the hell is beach food?

After a walk in and around the medina we made our way out to the man-made jetty out by the beach. I became distracted when I discovered large pipes along the shore made out of an unknown material (unknown to me that is) that possessed intriguing acoustic properties. Childhood regression immediately took hold. After play time ended we stood upon the jetty while staring out to see in the dying light. A small group of dolphins was kind enough to stop by and do whatever the hell it is they were doing. They were propelling themselves out up the water belly up in some strange sort of aquatic dance. We were grateful for the production. 

After a fairly delicious meal at an Italian restaurant and a fitful night's sleep we packed up the Punto and headed west. On our way out of town I was stopped by the police for cruising past a traffic cop ushering vehicles from a side road onto the main route. Apparently, I was supposed to stop until directed to proceed but this was far from clear as neither of the policemen were looking in my direction and the road ahead appeared to have two lanes. Well, as I rolled on by with a dopey look upon my face a member of Bizerte's Finest ushered me to the roadside. He mumbled something in French, asked for what I believe to be the car's registration, realized we spoke neither French or Arabic, then waved us on out of pure frustration. My ignorant white guy persona once again saves the day. Score. 

We made a stop Ichkeul National Park for a short morning hike and a panoramic view of Lake Ichkeul. The lake (shallow and brackish) is an eco hotspot that came close to destruction. This eco-treasure is home to over 230 species of birds and owes its unique environmental status to seasonal variations of salinity. The construction of dams on three of the rivers feeding the lake knocked the whole system out of whack and nearly eliminated the areas migrant denizens. Luckily, Tunisia took steps to stem the tide and today the area is recovering, although the ultimate outcome is far from certain. 

After the park we made our way to Cap Serrat Beach to spend a night within earshot of Mediterranean waves smacking along the coast. It is a rather pleasant area to spend some time but not quite as 'dazzling' as the Lonely Planet states. Still, it is a great place to chill and offers up an agreeable beach on which to stroll.

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim