The Port of El Djamila

It’s only 9:30 am, but the sun is already beating down hard in Algeria. At El Djamila port, ex-La Madrague, a seaside town 20 kilometres west of Algiers, fathers are already slathering their agitated children in suntan lotion and are having a hard time doing so.  Something about the proximity of open water drives kids stark-raving mad. We aren’t spared from this phenomenon: from the rearview mirror, I see the crazed look in my kid’s eyes as the open space outside her window unfolds.

It’s still early, and men are removing jet skis from the backs of their trucks and hauling them to the water’s edge. Huge old ships and tiny fishing boats crowd the port. Fish stands dominate the sidewalks, and the entire place smells of the sea and freshly caught seafood.

It seems to be a popular place for a weekend getaway, because after an hour or two the place is packed and crowded. Lila spends the morning biking, and then promptly removes her pants and jumps into the water with other kids. Afterwards we manage to drag her out (she put up a good fight), and head over to a restaurant by the port, where we eat a fresh, gigantic dorade and grilled shrimps.

After lunch, it’s around 38°C, so we call it a day and head home. Lila’s pockets are bulging with pebbles, and there is sand all over the car seats.

Currently listening to:
Nathan Johnson
The Brothers Bloom OST

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