Crossing the Sun-Baked Salty Expanse of Chott El Jerid in Tunisia
In the dim, sweaty backseat of an old Land Rover, you push aside the heavy curtains shielding you from the harsh desert sun and glance out at…nothing. Only the sight of Chott el Djerid's flat dried earth is visible to your left and right, coated in spots with a blinding white crust, and dotted with shifting mirages that dance in and out of view. Ahead on the causeway, an unexpected sight breaks up the monotony: a colorful roadside stand, peddling Cokes, bottles of water, and piles of gypsum roses. Just off the road, dying pools of reddish water sit stagnant, guarded by heaps of dusty white salt, crudely molded into human figures by an inspired passerby.