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October 23, 2007

Ah, the joys of travel to the Near East ....

Libya is a land of contrasts, not least the weather. Day one was hot and sticky, Day two brought warm and then thunder and downpours, yesterday brought a gale and rough seas and today started rather cold with a strong wind from the desert. Mersa Brega is on the coast, tucked into the Gulf of Sirte, East of the city and west and south of Benghazi. It is a huge oil refinery and small port for tankers and gas carriers and the entire "town" - in reality three towns - is owned, and occupied by the Sirte Oil Company and their staff. Amenities are few and so is entertainment. The beach, the executive "Family" Club and the the desert is about it.

Laundry is a bit of a problem as there is one, but it caters for only a few items and certainly not those things that go under ones outer clothing. As the accommodation is "Guest House" - in other words a house in which visitors share a lounge, kitchen (But noticeably no pots or pans or anything remotely usable for cooking - and NO washing machine!) - it is basic. OK, so one gets taken to a dining room for meals twice a day, and can use a military style canteen, but it certainly isn't five star, four star, or even one star.

Oh well, the people on the other hand are fun and full of interest, so it sort of balances out. Did I mention that there is a supermarket? Great, ever tried shopping with every label in a totally foreign and alien script? Now there is entertainment for you - I have yet to discover whether or not the container I bought recently is coffee - or something else. I'll save that for Friday - which is a day of national mourning and everything (except the refinery) will be closed down. Including the Internet. I think I'll need something to make me laugh ....

Posted by The Gray Monk at October 23, 2007 05:02 PM

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