The purpose of this trip was to see the Total Solar Eclipse in the desert of Libya. Although numerous locations were available to see the eclipse from, including some sites in Egypt and Turkey, we selected Libya.
The site in Libya would afford a period of totality just short of four minutes - which compares favourably with periods of totality in Egypt or Turkey.
We were informed of this Journeys Worldwide, tour by Peter Anderson of the Astronomical Association of Queensland in 2004 and we were keen to get our reservations in as soon as possible. Peter Anderson was also responsible for organising the AAQ trip to Ceduna (South Australia) in 2002 for the total solar eclipse there - so we were pretty confident he knew what he was doing eclipse-wise.
As many eclipse trips book out a long time in advance, some times years in advance, we booked our trip around 18 months in advance.
Aside from the eclipse itself, the trip offered by Journeys Worldwide also provided access to Libya which was, until very recently, a country closed to westerners. A recent thawing in relations between the west and the Libyan regime has allowed the country to slowly open up to tourism. With some of the best preserved Roman and Greek ruins in the world in a country enigmatic to many Westerners a trip to Libya was too good to turn down.
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Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook