Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Jumping Off a Cliff in a Tunisian Oasis
Mid-July heat in the Sahara is enough to make anyone want to jump off a 10-meter high cliff.
This desert oasis is just south of the village of Tamerza, a few hours drive from the oasis town of Tozeur. There are several surreally lush pockets like this scattered throughout the area and we'd invariably find them deserted save a few local kids swimming and some sleeping vendors. But then tour buses would come through, 40 or so tourists would meander around for about 20 minutes, more vendors would appear out of nowhere then everyone would leave and we'd have the places to ourselves again.
These local kids practice their jumping when no one is around then get tourists to pay them to jump when the tour buses are in. We watched a few scared kids jump for the first time during the quieter moments, getting nudged on by their older brothers. The water here was skin-piercing cold. It was wonderful. I didn't jump (I'm actually in this picture on the shore near my kids) but my husband Josh did.