First I should mention that you were very helpful through the year between planning and executing this trip. Whenever you’re traveling to an unusual destination it’s nice to have someone who responds promptly and in detail to all questions.
I was so relieved when Ahcicene told me you had switched the domestic flights to car trips. I had been telling people here at home that that was the one thing I was really nervous about. Not just the bad record of Air Algerie for timeliness and safety, but the idea of spending basically 2 of 4 days going through airport rigmarole…and if a guide were not going to accompany me, I was sure Air Algerie wouldn’t speak enough English to help me. I MUCH preferred the rides with Sidi, who has a fun sense of humor and tells stories about all the places you drive past.
I think Sidi is an effective guide for numerous reasons: he’s an older guy who has decades of experience in the field and the culture, and in Islamic cultures, people tend to be polite to older people, which helped whenever we interacted with police and other civil servants, with whom Sidi was always effusive. He also is very good at explaining the intricacies of daily life in Algeria.
My favorite things were the Algiers seaside walk, the Casbah, the mausoleum of King Jubbah, and the mountaintop trip in Oran over the ocean. The food was always great…the price of adventurous eating is often paid in the gut.
I loved the ST Hotel. The room was clean and comfortable with a nice bed, and the staff was friendly and helpful.
I can tell you that I absolutely would and will recommend Mosaic to friends who are thinking of going to North Africa. You made this yet another memorable experience for me.