Chott el Jerid
Chott el Djerid, Tunisia
Seasoned to tasteTunisia's Chott el Djerid is an enormous salt lake stretching about 5,000km around the southern half of the country. Neat, tidy stacks of salt line the road that traverses it, and the sight of occasional souvenir stands make you scratch your head, wondering what they're doing there and who is there to man them. Then you realize how thirsty you are, and secondary questions disappear.
The desolate, stretched-out, mirage-inducing landscape is the kind of place that invites pondering, as my friend is doing here, and as Luke Skywalker did before her. Yes, yes, a scene from Star Wars was filmed here, which I only found out later because I'm not a huge fan of the movies (...maybe).
You can cross Chott el Djerid on a road running from Kebili to Tozeur, which is arguably one of southern Tunisia's most fascinating towns. While there are signs for camel rides throughout the surrounding desert, I would leave the camel behind on this one and bring the car instead.