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.
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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