Hammamet – 18/19 June 2019

I have absolutely no photos of Hammamet, these are stock photos. I have no idea why. It was hot and busy, but we found a lovely place to eat right on the beach (in the sand) at an exclusive club where the meals were cheaper than going to a very cheap restaurant in the UK.

There were few European tourists because of the 2015 Sousse beach shootings. Tunisian tourists now come from neighbouring North African countries and the economy is apparently glad of it. No Western Europeans expecting all inclusive holidays for nothing.

We met some interesting people, one being a liveaboard English guy who cleaned and mended boats there, and he took me to a phone shop in his car and I bought a local SIM card. For that I was eternally grateful. We could now access our mapping systems, emails and the internet without costing the price of about 5 meals out a day.

Leaving was as painful as arriving. Hot form-filling and bribery again. But then for our cheap fuel.

I put in about 900 Dinar to fill the tanks, opting for the posh fuel rather than the local home-brew. I was hoping it would be like buying fresh orange juice, with bits or without bits. More of this later, but the fuckers must laugh there arses off when we Europeans leave. My fuel filters would later say there’s no bastard difference, it’s all got bits. Pirates.

Anyway, feeling smug about the crazy amount of money I’d saved, I handed the pirate my card, once the tanks were topped-off. He just shook his head and pointed at a tiny sign on the edge of a distance building that said Cash Only, and then pointed in the general direction of some buildings about a mile away and said “Bank for cash”. Clearly something he’s had to do about fifteen times a day for foreigners like me.

So, water in hand, off I trudged in 40 degrees to go to a bank to get out cash. Which of course was closed. I waited an hour for it to open and when I got to the counter and presented my passport and bank card, the banker just said “No, machine outside only”. So I had to use the machine outside about five times with two cards to work around their low cash limits. But I got there, but feeling quite nervous as I had what locals would believe to be a huge mount of cash money on me.

The pirate was paid and we escaped to sail to Sardinia in one jump. The date was 20 June 2019 in the afternoon.