We were going to spend another day in the desert region around Douz. We had no clear plan where to go, and it was going to be hard to top the experience in the Ksar Ghilane oasis. Like so many times before, I let one picture be me guide. It was a picture of the sand dunes near the town of Zaafrane, a small oasis a few kilometers from Douz.
Other than camels and goats crossing the road, the two hour drive back to Douz could have been pretty uneventful. That was until we decided to stop by the road to take a few pictures of junked cars near the road. We took the pictures and were ready to continue, but the Landcruiser was not. It would not start. Mohammed, the driver, commented it wanted to join the junked cars. It was time to push but we had to get help of another driver, who happened to drive by, to get enough man power to move the car and get it going.
We continued past Douz to Zaafrane, or rather the old village that is getting buried by the sand. I wanted to see the location first to possibly come back for the sunset.
|Gas station outside Ksar Ghilane||Goats on the road||Seen better days||Car wrecks||Store front in Douz||Palms in the desert|
|Ruins in the sand||Irina||Hiking the dunes|
|Triple||Zaafrane and its minaret||Donkey parking||Landcruiser|
After the midday sun drove us away from Zaafrane, we ended up driving to another desert location nearby and testing out the Landcruiser's off-road capabilities. After letting some air out of the tires, it seemed there was no stopping this car. While we were taking a break in the shade under a palm tree, we spotted a scorpion. It was light green in color and threateningly stuck out its claws and its venomous sting as I was trying to get it to pose.
After I expressed the desire to taste camel meat, Mohammed arranged it for lunch. We started by a trip to a butcher's shop where he picked a piece of meat, which we then took over to a restaurant that cooked it. One could call it bring-your own meat. Could this catch on in the US? The kebab was a bit chewy but it made for a great meal with the sides.
|Ready to roll||Four-wheeling||Dates||Desert landscape||Dates|
|Camel steak||Irina and Mohammed||Produce stand||Beans||Camel kebab||Yummy meal|
We returned to Zaafrane in the late afternoon when the sun was lower and shadows made the dunes come alive.
|Cemetery||Tricycle races||Jaw bone||Ripply landscape||Curves|
|BW palms||Last stands|
Unlike the reddish sand around Ksar Ghilane, the sand around Zaafrane is almost white. As the sun drew closer to the horizon, it took on warmer hues.
|Clusters||S line||Sand and palm trees||Curves and ripples|
|Palm tree and its shadow||Photographer's shadow|
The sun was just above the horizon. The shadows lengthened and the sand took on warmer shades still. The picture that made me come here did not lie.
|Old Zaafrane||Ruins in the desert|
|Last sun rays||Scooter ride||Scooter ride||Sunset colors|