Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Tunisian Adventure

My Stay, during Xmas 2007 + New Year 2007, at Marhaba Palace, Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia, was FABULOUS.

Being an wheelchair user, I was very cautious about the accessibility of the hotel.
Even though the ramps, in Tunisia, are STEEP and are usually Marble, within the hotels, marble is slippery, especially when damp. On my stay, I met a few “mobility impaired” people, who found the hotel good, for the area
The staff are very helpful, if you tip them, they will do all they can.
There are four lifts, at opposite ends of the huge (flat) reception, which has a magnificent centre candelabra. Short pile carpet, on all other floors, does not hinder wheelability.

Rooms are big, (sea views, to the rear, town views else where) bathroom with over shower-bath, basin, Hairdrier, Towels clean every day. Separate toilet (which is on the small side). Hotel is a VERY LARGE H shape, with the beach side in the shade, after mid-day.

Maid service every day, very thorough, even art sculptures with the bed linen and bed clothes and net curtains. Laundry service available.
Restaurant has 3 levels (accessed by steps or ramps) Food is “Buffet” style, plenty of choice, and plenty of it. (you always have the same table, every night).
Breakfast is in a different room, again buffet style, plenty of choice. Waiters direct you to your table, some tables are wider than others (good for a wheelchair).
The hotel has a shop, hair salon, Al a Carte resturaunt, Fitness centre, tennis courts, mini golf, sauna and massage suite, indoor (heated) outdoor swimming pools. Short path to the beach 100 mtrs. Pool and beach bar. A short walk to the Marina.

When weather, is not so good, main hotel rooms, can become “chilly”, floor one has some settees, so you can still sit in the sun. (It rain heavily one day, so we sat in reception playing “I-SPY” !!!!!!!!)
The town of Port El Kantaoui is only 2minutes walk, along cobbled pavements or “wheel” on the road, but beware in a wheelchair (or even crossing, on crossings) you feel a bit of a target.
Sousse was very busy, crossing the dual carriageway (Zebra crossing) was an adventure in itself! Weaving in and out of traffic and crossing a railway, halfway across!!.
Entertainment was abit scarce, but it was December (not the high season).
Christmas and New Year GALA dinners were waiter service, 7 course meals (menu issued in advance, so you can notify them of any dislikes). With music and dancers.
On Christmas morning the children have gifs from Father Christmas (and even WHEELCHAIR users!!).
The guests where very friendly, we met a family from North Wales, another from Kent and Jason made friends with 2 children from Kent and a boy from Northern Ireland.
Jason has been sending text messages and talking to them, on the phone ever since.
Favourite sayings, of the shop traders, are Luvley Jubbly – Looky Looky – no BL***Y Hassle – ASDA Price. THE HAGGLING is something else.
A visit to Matmata, the Star Wars film set, where we had lunch
Visit El Jem, Ampitheatre. Very impressive. Even had a ramp, to the entry gate for the wheelchair. The secruity looked after it while I staggered around with my walking stick!
We took an excursion to the desert, to ride a camel,(we dressed up in costume) in the Sahara in Douz, where we stayed over night in a hotel
Chott Djed the salt lakes ,the expanse of these is astonishing, worth the trip.
Tozeur We took a horse and cart into an Oases, to see platations of Dates, palms, Fruits and a man climbing a tree!
Metloui on the Red Lizard train into the Atlas Mountains. Sights you only see in magazines or films.
Trip on a Galeon ship (sea was a bit rough that day), and a anther trip on the Albatross Catamaran. which had large port holes under the water line, so a good look at the sea floor.
In Port El Kantaoui, I went on the “Noddy Train” to Souz (twice) a journey well worth 3 Dinars (approx £1.50) for 10kms. It goes along the main road so you have more time to look at the scenery, you missed, on the coach.
We also went on the “Camel Caravan” a horse carriage to see a woman making bread and a Camel drink from a “Coke” bottle (a bit cruel).
Monastir airport was very good, an airport porter assisted us through the airport, giving us “Priority” check-in and missing all the queues.
Back in the UK we stayed in a Travelodge in Reading, so as to break up the long journey home

More information ASAP via www.llanboidy.com and http://alanroygbiv.blogspot.com/
Photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanroygbiv/
Videos on http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=alanroygbiv

My return has been chaos, replying to emails, unpacking -packing, sorting the travel arrangements for travel to Gambia later this week.

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