Archive for the ‘Sudan’ Category

We finally got our vehicles back around mid afternoon in Thursday, we packed all our stuff and hit the road … we couldn’t wait to leave Wadi Halfa.

It was quite late by the time we left Wadi Halfa, which only gave us about an hours ride, we pulled off next to the road just before sunset, rode into the desert away from everyone and set up camp for the night. Aisha made us a very nice cup of coffee … don’t think I had a cup of coffee since Egypt. Was so nice to camp in the middle of nowhere, the sky was beautiful, milkyway on display, something you do not see in London. Think this was our first real “adventure” camping since we started the trip

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Camping in the middle of nowhere …

Next morning, we packed up and headed towards Karima. Again, like Egypt … desert desert, heat, heat, warm water …. I wanna get out of here now and get to the greener part of Africa.

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Desert, sand .. sand … sand … and it’s hot ..

We arrived in Karima where I had my first fall .. not sure if it was just tiredness or what? There was quite a big hump in the road, I went over a little to fast and the same time trying to warn the guys behind me … and the bike just went … not sure why and what happened, bike and I ok though .. nothing major.

We headed for a hotel at Karima which was a little pricey, so we tried another one which was a little crappy, so we decided to just do another rough camp somewhere out of the city. We rode for a while until we couldn’t see any lights anymore, veered off the road and camped.

During the day, Pete and Aisha bought some lamb .. and the girls, together with Pete made us a beautiful “potjie” … awesome

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Little pyramids, just outside Karima

Now, we have not had a proper shower since Aswan almost a week ago … so we needed one desperately. Next morning (Saturday) morning, we got up early, packed up and headed to Khartoum.

Also, to make a long story short, I am suffering from a weird stalling, jerky issue, getting progressively worse since Egypt … not sure if it’s petrol or fuel pump … maybe something else, but it sometimes get so bad I pull in the clutch and then sometimes the engine dies completely. I still have no clue what’s going on … I do hope I make it to Cape Town, will be pretty pissed off if I don’t !

Anyway, with my problem and all, I do not want to stop as my engine might not start again, so I just went all the way, just over 300km to Khartoum, only stopping if I have to for loo or petrol breaks. The other guys stopped a few times, so I completely lost them and was way ahead.

I arrived on my own in Khartoum .. maybe the wrong side … horrible, busy and dirty place, but headed straight for the Blue Nile Sailing Club as agreed with the others to meet up. They arrived only about an hour later. By this time it was raining in Khartoum, windy and late … not wanting to camp and mostly due to the fact that we desperately need a proper shower, we all booked into a hotel for two nights.

Earlier this evening we went for a very nice Buffet dinner at a different hotel down the road actually for around 70 Sudanese pounds including two drinks. Going to pack up now, get some sleep for an early start tomorrow towards the Ethiopian border … yes, get me out of this desert and sand 🙂

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Khartoum tonight after dinner ..

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This is just craziness. We were told that we will get our bikes today and be on our way … 5pm became 6pm and then became nothing .. not a word. We contacted fellow Swedish travellers whos vehicle is also on the ferry and they told us we won’t get the vehicles today as they have not finished unpacking the barge, what a load of …….

Now we been told tomorrow, maybe midday … unbelievable, we are stuck in a small town with nothing, nothing to see, waisting time. It is so boring, we do not know what do to with ourselves anymore.

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Wadi Halfa

The town consist of at least a very tiny, hot, but kinda fast internet cafe … was quite surprised, it is 3 sudanese pounds per hour. I plan to go there tomorrow again to upload this post. There are also a few shops for cold water and cold drinks, but our lunch and dinners mostly consists of breads (almost like pita), chicken or fish. We buy so many water (I have never drank so many water in my life before) that we can use the bottles, cut them in half and use them as cups.

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Our dinner, can tuna and bread ….

The people here are either very friendly or stare at you .. mostly friendly though and understand english. No one begs, the waiter at one dusty restaurant did not even want to take our tip we left him, so overall this place is better than egypt.

Shower in this place pretty much consists of bucket showering as there is barely any running water and you have to shower in the squatting toilets. The rooms are warm with ceiling fans, but that just mostly circulates the hot air.

Petrol seems to be another problem, we heard that there is only 80 octane, so not sure if my bike will be too happy with that if it was “spluttering” in egypt on 90 octane already …. Lindsay do have some octane booster left and so do I … but not much !

Other than that, we are all still healthy and doing well … would just be good to get on the road again ….

It definitely has been a crappy last two days, for me at least. Yesterday morning we had to be at the Traffic Police around 8am to give our number plates back and then to be escorted to the ferry. Peter and Aisha was ready and we told them they can get going while we still packed the bikes.

We arrived at the Traffic Police around 8:40am, finding Pete and Aisha still waiting, so at least we weren’t late. As soon as we presented only one number plate per bike (…and that is what they gave us in Alexandria), I just saw the guy shaking his head, explaining to someone that can speak a little english that we needed two plates, they can’t accept only one. My first reaction was ….”What the *&@*%%$ now??”

The more we explained to them we only received one plate, the more they say we need two. We then had to get back on the bikes, ride across town to the Tourist Police to get a report stating that Alexandria only gave us one number plate …. well good luck explaining that to them, all we got was confused looks … my patience has been wearing thin already, I am hot, sweaty and they just stare at us.

I eventually found an older man that speak a little english, went back up to the Tourist Police for him to explain our situation. They then said, we need to go to the normal Police instead of the Tourist Police. We left Delilah to look after the bikes and Lindsay and I walked with the man to the police station. Once we got there, they didn’t allow us into the building as they had prisoners in the office who apparently committed murder, so maybe a good thing.

The older man eventually re-appeared, shaking his head. By this time it was probably two hours later and we had made no progress. We went back to Toursit Police again and by this time I asked if I can phone Mr Salah (the guy who sold us the ferry tickets) to help us. He explained to the tourist police over the phone, but they seemed unwilling to help. Eventually, probably after another hour, they agreed to do a report for us. We had to lie, writing a report that we lost one number plate (so now it’s our fault) and we do not accuse anyone … After probably another 30mins, they translated the reports and we could get on our way.

We arrived back at the Traffic Police, gave them some papers and the police report (which they didn’t even read) and we were free to go to the ferry port. Arriving at the ferry port, more crap … checks, checks and more checks. We had to pay more money … around 253 egyptian pound per bike … and then another check at customs, another 22 egyptian pounds and then another 3 egyptian pounds for a stamp in the passport and then we movd down to the port itself.

The ferry is so overloaded … people everywhere, weird people, some guys wanting to take photos of just the girls, checking them out and just overall very strange. I think by this time I had enough of this country .. just want to leave now.

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Peter and I checking out the barge

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Our bikes loaded on the barge

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Pete driving his landy onto the ferry

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We loaded the bikes and the cars onto the overloaded barge and went inside for our “first class ticket cabins” …. what a load of rubbish …. first class my ass. For a start, my room got hijacked, around 6 sudanese men in my 2 bedroom cabin. Toilets and everything else is just horrible, the only good thing were the cold drinks and water we could buy and maybe the fact that they at least had aircon, but it was so cold … maybe better than hot hey ?

I had to share a very tiny cabin with Lindsay and Delilah, even though I paid 500 egyptian pound for my own first class ticket, but I am not sleeping with 6 other men and all their belongings in a tiny cabin. We had a meal consisting of some beans, boiled eggs, bread and some cheesies and then we decided to go to sleep … what else could you do?

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Andrey, a russia we met, also travelling on a bike

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The meal on the ferry

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The next morning 4:30am was some sort of a loud prayer call or something so that woke us all up. We got up and Lindsay and I sat outside for a while. Around 7am we went past the Abu Simbel, the guys took some photos … I didn’t sorry and we went back to the cabins.

Not sure if I should put this in, but my stomach was not very well at this stage, must have been those beans … I dreaded this as there was no way I was going into those squatting toilets, they stank and was overflowing. I just had to go, but went to the ladies toilet instead, screw them ! at least I felt much better after that.

After loads more checks and forms as we came off the ferry, we were escourted to a “hotel” near the port as our vehicles only arrive tomorrow sometime. We are now staying in this place, which just really consists of a few beds and no running water … but at least they have satellite TV. We are now sitting outside, playing cards and stuff … going to bed soon and hope the bikes come quickly tomorrow so we can get out of this place.