Douz is a small town on the edge of the Sahara desert in central Tunisia. It is known as and often referred to as the Gateway to the Sahara. In days of old it was an important stop off for the camel trains on their routes throughout the Sahara. The town was actually an important stop as it was an oasis where the merchants could rest and their camels replenish their stocks of water prior to their trek through the dessert.
We only spent one night in the town and were so tired we actually never ventured out from the hotel at all. We arrived after dark after a long day of travelling and sightseeing en route so I can not really comment on the town at all.
In the morning we were up early because we were to go on a camel trek into the Sahara dessert. It was quite an experience and something that none of us will forget in a hurry. After our camel trek into the Sahara we returned to the camel base and then headed off into the town to visit the market.
As it was a very important Muslim feast day the market was packed out with people looking to buy a lamb or sheep to slaughter that afternoon as part of their celebrations. We went to the sheep market which was absolutely crowded with people all expecting and feeling the sheep to make sure they bought a nice meaty and well looked after sheep. The sheep were chosen then taken off by the new owner who either walked it or carried it on their shoulders where they were taken to their cars or motorbike or any other means of transport that was available including horses and carts and open backed vehicles.
After visiting the sheep market we continued into the spice and food market where every kind of spice imaginable were laid out on trestle tables. The smells of the spices were quite pungent. There were all kinds of stalls selling boxed goods and vegetables and fresh fruit. There were stalls selling every kind of thing you can imagine from the insides of motors to toilet seats and toilets. It was so packed you more or less were forced to walk in unison with the crowds. It was quite an atmospheric experience seeing all kinds of sights sounds and smells. It certainly was a market that teased and tantalised the senses and definitely one to experience as it is an interesting sight.
Later the next day we were to witness something quite horrible all the skins of the dead sheep that had been slaughtered and eaten the night before were collected on the back of carts, and lorries and presumably taken off to be turned into rugs or carpets or other such items.
Douz did seem quite a busy place while we were there in the town centre and well worth a visit but only for passing through as I don’t think there was anything there that would attract me to stay longer.