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Le Lezard Rouge

the red lizard passes a stream in gorge

The stream flows out through the gorge and is lost in the thirsty desert.

All aboard. All aboard Le Lezard Rouge!

Le Lezard Rouge is an old beyical train that leaves Metlaoui every day except Monday. It travels across the flat rocky desert that surrounds this Southern Tunisian town, up through the Selja Gorge, and on to the phosphate mining areas in the mountains.

Besides the old fashion charm of the train, the trip provides a glimpse of rugged crags, sparkling mountain springs and deep ravines.

As you leave Metlaoui, the train runs alongside the local market, and gives a long whistle blast as we approach a road crossing. Donkeys and kids scatter.

And now we are travelling across the desert floor towards the mountains. It's a hard rocky surface with occasional dry creek beds and a lonely white mosque that glints in the morning sun.

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We climb though gorges and tunnels and, for a while, we are travelling alongside a small stream fed by a mountain spring. Life and greenery clutches at the banks for a few metres either side of the water, until eventually the stream gushes out towards the hungry desert and is lost.

We reach the phosphate mining area where a track siding enables our engine to uncouple and reposition at our rear, and we head back down the track to enjoy the scenery once more as we return to Metlaoui.

So join us, sit back and relax, and enjoy the experience of ……Le Lezard Rouge

Le Lezard Rouge Photos


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