After much deliberation we've chosen option number three. Though we'd like to ride our bicycles, our original route to the western town of Tozeur could easily turn into a month long affair if it involved circling back to Kerkennah. There is still a lot we'd like to see but we aren't interested in spending a month on the road just to wind up right back where we started. A short tour of southern Tunisia via train, taxi and louage it is!
Finding a place to stash our bicycles, something we were dreading, turned out to be easy; the owner of our hotel agreed to store them for us in an unused/locked closet behind the reception office. Even better, the offer was free of charge and he assured us they would be fine for as long as we needed to leave them. Yousri, our friend/waiter from La Corniche is a friend of the owner and has agreed to bring our wheels to the hotel when they arrive at the cafe. He even said he'd call us when they come! Thank you for all of your help, Yousri!
With the major hurdles cleared, we spent an hour or two sifting through our meager collection of possessions, choosing which few of them we could fit into the small backpacks we brought with us. Interestingly, the way we divided our gear into our respective packs is similar to how we load our panniers when riding. I'm still carrying the electronics and Tara is still carrying clothing/toiletries/guidebooks and other miscellany. Sadly, our camping/cooking gear will be left behind.
Now completely packed and ready to go, our moods are considerably lighter. The next week or two should be exciting; we've never been backpacking together!
Here is the view from our hotel: