Before going to Makthar, Tunisia, a cup of coffee in the adjacent cafe in Dougga. The further route is discussed. We drive a few miles to a hotel, there we will spend the night on the parking lot. Before dusk we reach the hotel. The car park is not situated idyllically which was not expected anyway, but we can use the showers, and get delicious dinner with good wine. Wine is also available in Muslim countries.
At early morning we start again. Tara does her morning walk, while Achim and Ingrid are still asleep in the truck. From our overnight stay in Kef we travel through vast plains and rolling hills in the direction of Makthar.
Again and again we stop to enjoy the magnificent view. The area is desert-like, a stone desert with only sparse vegetation. In the distance we see Hans and Ursl coming with their 4 wheel drive Mercedes Sprinter. And already Guido and Heidi are catching up. The last to arrive are always the tour guides Renate and Joachim, as they collect those who might have broken down on the road. They are the last to start the day’s route. Gathered at the roadside, we have fun and enjoy the beautiful landscape. But soon it goes on, because we must master our day’s route, otherwise we will be behind our daily schedule, because we want to be in Cape Town in 142 days on our overland travel.
We reach the ancient Makthar. The most important building is the Trajan’s arch, that borders the Forum in the south. It was built by the citizens in honour of their emperor. After the fall of Carthage and the flight of the Carthagians to Makthar their culture shaped the city and held its own against the later Roman influence.
Well preserved are the thermal baths of which columns, pools, mosaics and arches still bear witness to their former splendour. The cobbled streets are also well preserved, and the amphitheatre, with oval arena, surrounded by two circular walls, as well.
From Makthar Tunisia, we go on to the holy town of Kairouan on the same day.