On my 3rd day I left tozeur and headed towards matmatta, but I had to stop off again to the Star Wars
Canyon as I forgot to take a shot of the Jawa's hideout opposite the jawa rock. Again it was deserted so
I took the opportunity to video a quick walkthrough with the camcorder. It was a hot day and I was only there for about an hour.
The journey to matmatta was excellent, I stopped off many times to take pics of the beautiful scenery that changed all the time, salt flats, sand storms, grassy and then nearing matmatta it turned into
rocky mountains which were simply stunning.
I got to matmatta about 1pm and found the sidriss hotel pretty easy, it was the one with coaches and massess of tourists outside ! :)
I booked in and was shown my room ( # 18). Basic is an understandment, but I knew what to expect before I arrived. I had 5 beds to choose from though ! LOL.
Around 5pm the tourists left and there was only one couple staying at the hotel at the time. I had some food and took some pictures of the area and then chilled out for the rest of the evening. I had my book and just sat at the Lars table reading and then going outside to look up at the stars. I eventually went to bed around midnight.
The next day I really wanted to see the sun rise so I got up early and went to the top of the hill where the big white "Matmatta Welcome" sign is and waited. It was a gobsmacking sunrise, clear and the only sound was that of the birds and the local wildlife. I then went back to the hotel to finish off some pics and said goodbye to the hotel manager (but not without signing my name on the woodern lars "set door" which countless people have done.
So I had stayed at the Lars Home and it was a calm experience and for only £8.00 a bargain not to be missed if you visit this area.
Today I was going to Medinine and Jerba Island. I had started early so I arrived at Medinine in good time around 10am, however it was Saturday and market day....big mistake. I had a faint idea where Anakins home was (In Episode I) but the place was so busy and to be honest a little nervy. I parked up on the road and looked around but couldn't see anything that remembled the location. I was also aware I was the only tourist around, and the only person with a camera and camera tripod. I was going to give up as I was being eyed all the time by the locals. Then I saw some curved shaped rooftops and thought i'd go and have a look just in case, and there it was ! .. it was nice and quiet around the back alley with only a few locals talking so I set up the tripod and snapped away of anakins house and the surrounding area. 15mins later I was in the car and outta there with a sense of relief and a big smile on my face ! :)
It was time to relax and drive to jerba Island. I decided not to take the ferry route and use the roadway across the sea, it was still only 10:30 when I got near to jerba and it was nice to see a holiday style atmosphere with other tourists around. As I hadn't booked any hotels my first job was to find one. I got 3 of the internet and went looking around (there is a "zone tourists") so that seemed the logical bet there would be there. The 1st one had no rooms left (which was a blessing) as I found a hotel called "El Salem", which had a pool, car park and nice rooms which were about £20.00 a night. I was orginally only going to stay in jerba for 2 nights, but decided on 3 to take some time out and some R&R.
After booking in and it only being midday I went about looking for the cantina, which back in 2004 I had tried and unsuccessful not found on a day trip (abet a very very short one). The map I had was basic and I had some trouble locating it, so I pulled over and asked a group of 3 middle aged men just chatting by the road. One of them knew it and pointed the way (he actually looked like Morgan Freedman!). I drove 200 yards and there it was ! I parked up and took a good look around. As soon as I set up my tripod I had about 6-7 people talking about star wars and when they filmed at the location, one local told me that the film crew came to his school and asked who wanted a part as a "jawa" ! Im sure he was telling the truth, and he then pointed out what props went where etc, etc...I also went to the star wars "blast off" alley which was a stones throw away. The Stormtrooper check point has now gone due to a new apartment block.
I was told that Bens house on the coast road had been knocked down, so that was disappointing but as the building that double as anchorhead and the entrance to mos eisley was not far away I decided to go there next......however .....
on the road leading up to it, I noticed a white building and there it was ...... it was the bonus to the holiday, Ben's house still sitting proud on the sea bank. I had been there in 2004 on my short trip
but as I said had been informed it had been knocked down by a very reliable source. Nothing has changed to the building, so again snappy time with the camera. After that I then headed to just 5miins
away to the mosque (anchorhead building).
All in all it was a busy day, and I had done the 3 sites already ! ...
Over the next couple of days I revisited the sites (as there were some shadows on the cantina in the afternoon of the building opposite which I didn't like, so morning time is the best time to get your photos
done. In the evenings I just sat on the sea bank by Bens house to watch the sun dip into the sea, was
so peaceful with just the odd small fishing boat in the background (got some amazing sun set photo's of
this which I will put up later).
On the last day, I left jerba via the ferry and drove all the way back up to Monastir to catch my flight home to London.
I have to say, that if you are doing this trip, then hire a car ... it's a must, I wouldn't advise the taxi sharing idea, afterall you can stay at some very cheap hotels and save money that way to pay for the
weeks hire of a car. The roads are alot better than 5 years ago, petrol is cheap enough and there is
no better feeling than driving on your own time to get somewhere or to stay somewhere as long as you
It was an amazing experience and it's out of my system now, but if you want to see the Lars Homestead external set, go this year .... it hasn't got long left to stand :(
Thanks for reading :)