The Gateway to the Sahara (Hardcover)
Tripoli, as the northern focus of three great caravan routes, was a natural gateway to the Sahara. The American traveller, Charles Wellington Furlong visited that 'most native of the barbary capitals' in 1904, before the advent of modern communications changed the centuries-old pace of life. His inquiring mind and fluent pen present the reader with a most colourful and absorbing account of this peculiarly individual North African city. More than that, the author extends his sphere of interest to take in the adjacent desert and its inhabitants. In order to discover the hardships and dangers of desert travel for himself, he made a series of journeys through this 'great land of sand and silence', accompanied by three Arab guides. He trekked across the scorching desert sand by day and slept under the feathered branches of oasis date palms at night. One day, he encountered a vast caravan of richly laden camels with their Arab traders; on another he glimpsed the shadowy forms of bandits trailing him through a rocky ravine. On one occasion he barely escaped with his life. The reader will find much of interest in this compelling narrative.