Friday, 20 April 2012

Holiday under the Chadian Sun

Last week I had the immense pleasure and joy of welcoming my Mum to sunny and increasingly hot Chad. Before coming here, I spent much time trying to convince people that Chad really is the next up and coming tourist attraction so they should really come here to visit. I suppose my Mum is biased as she’s the only one that has fallen for it and arrived with two suitcases stuffed full of goodies and letters!

Having shown her all the top tourist attractions in the city (the main square, the impressive selection of roundabouts, the hospital, my neighbourhood, friends and very excitingly, the newest ‘supermarket’ and patisserie), we headed off to a little hotel not far out of the city for the night. The next morning (after an eventful night of broken air con and scorpions!), we went in search of Elephant Rock,
The track to Elephant Rock
which does what it says on the tin-it’s a rock that looks awfully like an 
elephant! We drove there “en brousse” (through the bush) along a track which quickly descended to a path, and then to an indistinguishable, rough direction towards another bit of space, occasionally interrupted by a camel caravan. This proved to be, as well as being extremely fun (I had the Top Gear theme tune running through my head much of the time!), afforded us with some beautiful sights of Chadian village life; women in bright red scarfs riding donkeys laden with fire wood, women gathered around the scarce wells drawing water, chatting away and children playing in the sand on the outskirts of the occasional village made up of groups of round mud and straw huts.  
Then suddenly, from the seemingly endless flat, a group of rocky looking elephants emerged! I climbed up with my self- appointed guide, a little girl from the nearby village, and took in the view of infinite sand. We learnt after that boats on Lac Chad used to be tied to the elephants trunk. It would be another 45 minute drive by tarmacked road to reach the shores now.

Following all that intense physical activity, the only thing left to do was to spend the rest of the week by a pool, catching up, relaxing and jumping into the cool water to escape the 47C heat. We had a wonderful time together and I can’t thank my Mum enough for her love, support and encouragement.

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