Tunisia 2016 – Expedition to Sif es Souane

Ain Ouadette – sandy paradise or cherry on the cake

Huilat Er Richet or Ain Ouadette, small lake in Great Eastern Sand Sea of Tunisian Sahara, is just about far enough from civilisation to avoid becoming mass tourism venue, although it was quite busy in times before »Arab spring« uprising.

On test drilling, as an unpleasant result to oil business, instead of black filth, around 38°C hot water poured to the surface. It runs constantly since then, and despite disappearing into soft sand and hot air, a small lake was formed with green reeds surrounding its shores. The valley is nicely placed amidst reasonably low and distant dunes not to spoil the sense of saharan vastness.

Somebody put (or left) a steel tube on the source, so the water pouring down relaxes sweaty and sandy skin as in spa, and the edges of the pool are probably every now and then  rebuilt by boys that, in this remote place of the world, are not ashamed to confess in Freudian manner we actually never forgot how to play in the sand.

On the way to the place desert cafés rose, and locals built wooden refreshment huts covered with palm leaves. By the pool a full board menu was available including beer. The place became popular objective and sanctuary to all affroaders. If you are in Tunisia with offroad vehicle, then, with an exception of Rommel’s piste, all tracks spin between city of Douz, oasis of Ksar Ghilane, and desert lake of Er Richet, from which the latter could be said to be a cherry on the cake.

On the date of arrival, Uroš got his own cherry on the cake as the planets and stars aligned for his birthday. And what is nicer than celebrating your birthday in a warm pool in pleasant company of eleven sand addicts before hitting Sif es Souane. In the middle of Sahara, far from everyday worries. Even the time stopped. Of course, there was no cake, but the bottle of Skenderbeg, brought down here for this very purpose, was handed over in circle. And there was no rush, since good cognac can always be served a few degrees warmer.

The Pool of Er Richet

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