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Getting Nowhere

by Tara

We stayed at our hotel until nearly 2PM trying to resolve the concerns Tyler raised in his last journal entry. Hotel Pansea in Ksar Ghilane still could not be reached. In an effort to feel like we'd accomplished something, we sent them an email saying if we didn't hear back by tonight, they could consider our reservation request withdrawn. Our wheels are still in customs limbo. Our renters still haven't deposited their December rent, let alone January's. After hours of attempting to accomplish even one item on our list, we left completely unsuccessful.

At the suggestion of our hotel's friendly owner, we headed to the Kebili Tourist Office. He was sure they would be able to help. After much backtracking and at least six useless requests for directions from people who seemed completely shocked to learn there was a tourist office in their town at all, we finally found it on our own. It was closed. At this point we were both beside ourselves with frustration, and so began to consider more drastic options:

  1. Sell our Motobecane.

  2. Abandon our Motobecane because selling it wouldn't be worth the hassle.

  3. Forget about Ksar Ghilane and the Hotel Pansea. Who knows if we even have a reservation? If they try to charge us for it, we will dispute the credit card charges. No hotel, amazing or otherwise, is worth the headache this is causing.

  4. Head back to Kerkennah now, get our bikes, get out of Tunisia.

Rather than making any rash decisions, we instead set out to tackle the thirty kilometers between us and Douz. With a new tube and replacement shock absorbers, installed yesterday, we expected we'd make the trip without problems. Only twenty kilometers into our ride, just past the town of Jemna, our rear tire suddenly begin to chunkchunkchunk in a very familiar and depressing way. Feeling hopeless, we walked back a kilometer into town until we found a mechanic's shop. As we pushed in, our Mobylette was surrounded and fixed in a whirlwind of activity; we were back on the road practically moments after we'd arrived.

Though we were nervous, dreading a flat for every single one of the final ten kilometers, we made it to Douz. In town we rode through to the delight and amazement of everyone around. Ahmed, who sold us the Mobylette grinned and came running over to see how our trip had gone. He was absolutely stunned that we had ridden so far. To him and the other townspeople we'd befriended a few days prior, we had proven that the impossible was possible—one could ride a little Mobylette all the way to Tozeur and back.

With our spirits slightly boosted we decided one thing for sure: we couldn't part with Habib just yet. We checked into Hotel de la Tente, rolled our Motobecane into the garage, and left to go to the Publinet, hopeful we would have some good news waiting for us in our inboxes. We didn't. Feeling defeated once again, we retired for the day, intent on solving our problems tomorrow.