Thank you Joshua for all your help before and during this trip – it truly exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed every single day I spent there. I’ve attached a few random photos, which you can use as needed.
Main plus points:
- I was wary about safety, road conditions and food/water quality before the trip – maybe I was influenced by stories from other travellers, or the safety warnings after the terrorist attacks last decade. But I was pleasantly surprised on all fronts – roads were consistently excellent, I felt very safe at all times – even when walking out at night during the last stops, and I had absolutely no stomach issues, and loved all the food and drink I got to taste.
- The itinerary you compiled was excellent, with no lengthy stretches of driving that became boring, and a good mix of film sites, historical sites and downtime. Noureddine was also perfectly on time at all points, and nearly always had a coffee/toilet stop planned when needed, and a restaurant in mind when we got hungry. Everything felt just right in terms of timing.
- I was also pleasantly surprised by all the hotels, which exceeded my expectations in terms of hospitality and quality. The Medina/Rural options were suitably quaint and picturesque, whereas the rest-type hotels were very good value for money. I guess it’s a plus of travelling off-peak. Locations were also all excellent.
- Noureddine has tonnes of experience and used to come to life whenever we visited historical sites. I admit I wasn’t too keen on these beforehand, but he helped me appreciate them and they turned into highlights of my trip, especially Dougga, Bula Reggia and El Jem. he clearly knows the country inside out, and his knowledge of history was very valuable to help me enjoy the sightseeing. He didn’t consult a single map during the whole trip, and it was extremely reassuring to have him in charge.
- Your pre-trip package was very useful, especially the advice about tipping, and the detailed itinerary. I consulted them very often during the tip and they helped remove any awkwardness or disorientation.
Small minus points:
- Driving is of course chaotic at times, and Noureddine’s driving was often very scary. I got used to it by the end, but I often had to look out the window and ignore his driving while overtaking etc., becuase it was dangerous and stressful. I appreciate that he got us to places on time, and I am aware he has vast experience, but it still felt very unsafe at times.
- My main aim was to visit film locations. Noureddine is very knowledgeable about historical sights, but his knowledge of film locations was sketchy. I realise that not every guide can be expected to know the intricate details of individual film scenes and filming locations, but I would have preferred if he had just admitted to not knowing. Instead, he bluffed his way through a few of them, maybe assuming I wouldn’t know. To his credit, he was very patient and let me do my own thing, so. would often just ask him to take me to place X and give me time, and then do my own thing. On one occasion though I asked to backtrack along out itinerary, after realising he had taken me to the wrong Medenine Ksar. The place he had told me was used for filming was clearly not. I am grateful to him for accepting to take a long detour the next day, and we returned to Medenine a second time on our way out from Djerba. But I basically had to do my own thing when it came to film sites.
- It was also unfortunate that I struggled to find places to watch the World Cup that weren’t full of cigarette smoke, but I realise that enforcement of anti-smoking laws is an issue.
Other than these minor issues, the trip was a wonderful and eye-opening one, and I would gladly recommend Mosaic, and Tunisia, as travel ideas for friends and family. I see that you have watched the Instagram reels I post, which contains some of my favourite moments.