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 Star Wars Location - Tunisia - Road Trip March 2009 (Day 1 and 2)
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By: jamesFSO1 (offline) on Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 05:52 AM PDT (Read 4726 times)  

Hi all,

Just in case anyone is wondering how things are in tunisia and the sets these days, here is a breakdown
of my road trip.

18th - 25th March 09

Arranged flights only, didn't book any hotels or car.

Landed in Monstair from London Gatwick around 11:00am.

Went to Avis at the airport and hired a ford fiesta (which had no hubcaps and dents all over the place !)
Paid around 250.00 and hoped it would get me around and back without any problems (which it did).

Left the airport and made my way to Tozeur at around 12:40pm.

Got to Tozeur around 7:30pm. There is a motorway now from Monastir to Sfax which is brilliant and
was able to cane it (always looking for police of course - there are loads!).

But journey time was cut short by bad gravel roads getting towards Gasfa, but from then on the roads
were good again. Never drive in the dark ! .. there are no street lights and I only just made it to Tozeur
in bad light. Pot luck on the hotel, stayed at AL AMEN (15.00 a night - single room).

Fortunately the force was with me as the manager there arranged trips to the Mos Espa set. However
I also wanted to to the Lars External but had been told that you couldn't get passed the police checkpoint.
It cost me about 50.00 to go Mos Espa, this was due to I was the only person going in the afternoon and
then onto the Lars Homestead. Still a bargain in my books, own guide and vehicle and no problems asked :) I arranged this for thurs 19th March in the afternoon.

19th - I decided to go to the Star Wars Canyon. I knew (kinda) where to go and followed the road
out of Tozeur and turned off at Kebilli and then turn off at Douumes(something like that). There is a
gravel road leading to the car park, and very easy to see from a distance due to the 2 white mosques
on the hills.

Again, no-one was there ! excellent. I had reference pics etc and went into the canyon and started snapping ! ... after about 3 hrs and went back to the car to top up on water (it was hot(ish) 75-80.
Then I went to the cliff top to get the tusken raider picture looking down to the canyon.

I left there about 1:30pm and went back to the hotel to meet the guide.

Guide arrived and we set off to Mos Espa and Lars External Homestead.

Small Set - Has now been uncovered, but apart from a set of stairs its pretty much ruins now.

Mos Espa - BRILLIANT ! .. the sets are so well looked after, no real decay at all and the ride there
taken by the guide was excellent - serious dunes and hill climbs and falls...good laugh !

Just standing in this small town with the moisture vaporators is something amazing ! .. seeing
watto's shop, a engine of a pod racer and untold about of buildings is something every star wars
fan has to see ! ... I was there about 2 hrs, taking pics and video.

We then left and headed to Lars External set with approx 1.5 hrs of sun left. It was a 25mins
FAST ride back to the main road. I could see the set from the road (just) and the guide had a quick
word with the police checkpoint and in we went. Unfortunately it had been raining 2 days prior and
the 4x4 could only get so far, so I had to walk about a mile to the set.... which was fine until I started
sinking ! LOL ... but it was all seriously worth it, nobody can explain how it feels to be at this set, with the
craters and a stunning sunset ... amazing experience as im sure anyone will tell you who has been there and done it. The set itself is badly worn now, the dome is ok, a couple of holes but nothing major, but the sides and back are falling apart. The craters are fine and im sure always will be. But I reckon the set has about a year, 2 max before the elements take charge and bring it down, so if you are planning to go, go this year !!!

After the sunset, took even more pics and videos and then lost track of time just being there...and before I knew it was nearly dark ! ... and even worse I couldn't see my driver !!! ... fortunately I had my ipod with me (you have to listen to the binary sunset while the sun goes down to get that magic feeling - works too!)
and my ipod is quite bright so I was holding it up as I walked back where I had come from. Then about 1/2 a mile in, he put on this headlights (thank god).

My trousers and boots were caked in mud (and they always will be). I got in the vehcile and gave him an extra 20 dinars (10.00) as I was out there for about 2hrs and it was late. He was happy enough and
took me back to the hotel where I collapsed in bed ready to leave tozeur for the long(ish) drive to Matmata - Lars Homestead Internal Set in the morning.


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By: Admin (offline) on Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 08:50 PM PDT  

Great report, thanks for sharing. If you have any photos from your trip that you'd like to post along with this, you can put them in your album here on the site. I know that I'd love to see some current pics or if you already posted some on another site, let us know.

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By: ColinK (offline) on Saturday, May 02 2009 @ 03:42 AM PDT  

I second that ! :D
Would love to see photos and YouTube from the canyon cliff and homestead at sunset. I was without a guide and I WAS turned back by the police checkpoint. Oh well just my luck. 60 for all afternoon and evening at Mos Espa and Homestead and in the dunes sounds an absolute bargain.

Quick correction "the road out of Tozeur towards Kebili and then turn off at Dghoumes (aka Cedada or Sidada)".

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By: ColinK (offline) on Saturday, May 02 2009 @ 04:28 AM PDT  

Actually all that talk of locations video reminded me of this upcoming fan film which was filmed in the actual locations (as far as possible) in Tunisia and Italy. Click for 60MB Teaser Trailer (.WMV)


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