Reality strikes back

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The morning starts with a bit of a novelty – a shower. It feels good to have such luxury available to you after three nights of bush camping. The breakfast is not all that great though – the bread is not getting any younger and in the morning there is no soup to help the consistency of the bread you will actually have to try to chew it all by yourself.

Classic straight road to? Somewhere? No where? Anywhere?

We drive of it is gonna be a short drive to the next town today it is the first short day we have had this entire trip so far. We drive down the road to the lunch stop where the cook start to prepare lunch – then our tourist police get some bad news – his mother has just pasted away this morning. His usual smile disappears and he just wants to get home to his family. But it is a bit of a problem we are in the extreme south of Libya almost 1000k from Tripoli – and his family lives in Benghazi another 1200k from Tripoli.

Our drivers have a quick lunch and then get him to the next town where he can hopefully get a taxi to Sebha and a plane to Tripoli from where the tour company will make sure he can get on the late plane to Benghazi. It does not turn out that way he will have to get a taxi all the way to Tripoli and we never know whether or not he actually makes it home in time to his mother’s funeral.

Palms behind the town of Germa

For the rest of us the tour goes on – we await the return of our drivers before we set off to Germa to visit the museum of the area which explains some stuff of the old Garamatian culture which 1000 years ago made the dessert bloom using underground water. This great civilization disappeared because of the water supply being depleted by over using the underground water.

The remains of the old mud buildings in the old historic town of Germa

This is actually a very interesting because the biggest infrastructure project in Libya in the last decade is a giant manmade river pumping underground water in the south of Libya and transporting it all the way to the north. This project can be a success but it can also drain the entire central Sahara region from underground water leading to the oasis to disappear and Libyan running out of water for the population within the next 50 years. And it has happened before – one giant Libyan civilization overextending its water supply and disappearing.

Old town of Germa

After the stop at the museum we got a much more important stop – the local grocery shop – we need supplies like chocolate, cookies and beers.

Unfortunately he seems to be out of beers so we have to settle with chocolate and cookies.

What remains of old town Germa

After this it is of to the old town of Germa which is a town build of mud. Even though it hardly ever rains in this part of the world the old houses is in a pitiful condition and almost destroyed by the random rain and the wind all that remains is some ruins. Around the old town is some date palms this is a sort of palms that really can’t be used to produce dates you can eat – but they are used to make palm wine. The production of palm wine has been illegal for more than 30 years hence the palm tree is not well kept – but palm wine. New Year is coming up and with our beer situation palm wine could be and idea – anybody knows how to produce palm wine?

Muds crumbling in Germa

We leave the old town and drive to the huts we stayed in Christmas Eve – the nice huts which actually got room enough inside them for two beds.

Used to be a house in Germa

The huts which got no other tourist than us which means there is plenty of showers and toilets. We get the dinner in the small bar and the cook has managed to get some fresh bread. Fresh bread you can actually chew without being afraid of breaking your teeth. For the main we have been promised a change from camel to chicken. And the main course is the chef special – camel and rice. I guess you can’t have too much camel after all.

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