No blog entries from Sudan as Sudan is banned. We are trying to bypass this
and i think i might have got a way round it but the net is so slow it might
not be possible from my mobile. I've asked my Dad to try to update it and
will send Emails with blog stuff he can post. Also if you notice the twitter
box to the right of the blog page i can try to use that for daily updates in
Twitter style. Fr that i need to get twitter for my phone and with a slow
connection this is difficult. When i say slow, i'm talking 1992 speeds!
So we arrived in Wadi Halfa...the ferry trip was less than great. We slept
on deck and arrived to the boat early at the request of the fixer. This was
as it turns out a VERY good idea. We secured a space under one of te life
boats and this became out home for oer 24 hours. The boat gradually got more
people on board. At the end there wasn't one square meter of deck space.
Gangways filled, stairs sat upon and boxes piled on boxes all over. If you'd
been unlucky to arrive late then you had little chance of getting anywhere
to sit let alone lay down for the night. Our spot was suggested by my Mum.
Thanks Mum !!! It was partially fenced off so there was little chance of
being pushed out of the way which was attempted in normal Egyptian style.
The middle east and africa have no concept of space, personal space of
quiet. Everything is loud and everything is NOW! The push and heave and
cannot queue at all. When we were boarding we were first so not much of a
push but still and BIG push. When getting off we waited a long time for the
rush to subside. There was to customs processes on board and one of them was
as you get off so a big problem. This involved a short interview!
The trip itself was OK and we managed to get some sleep. A pretty good
nights sleep to be honest and had i not been using a very nobbly bag as my
pillow i think I would have gotten 8 hours of proper sleep. IT was cold and
we needed the sleeping bags. We didn't eat the free food.....our travel
companion Henning did and he said it was surprisingly OK. The restaurant
wasn't though. I hate boats and they are never clean and this was a whole
new level. The toilets get a 2 on the 1 to 10 toilet scale. 1 is
unusable....2 barely useable and 10 is the ones in Japan and one of the ones
in a department store in Japan ! Our one at home is an 8....Karen needs to
try harder. (Karen cleans our house and is Julies sister for those who do
The barge with the car has still not arrived....
the car left Sunday at 15:00 and we departed at 17:00 Monday. We arrive in
Wadi Halfa at 11am on Tuesday and the car still isn't here as i type this at
17:30 Wednesday. It may not arrive till tomorrow. I think they towing the
barge with a row boat.
We got a permit to take photos for $10usd and got our permit to travel and
registered as a tourist at the police station, this was £230sud (£115sud
each). This took about 2 hours. We can now drive around Sudan anywhere and
take photos...no Abu Simbel incidents here!
Another night in the hotel. Its too damn noisy. There's some unspeakable
grunts and throat clearings in the morning from 6am and these continue until
all the locals have cleared their nasal passages. The toilets are 2 meters
from our window.
The car is meant to be coming today. This is allegedly "for sure". Well I'm
not sure that their "for sure" means the same as it does in Formula 1.
The car came about midday and took a few hours to unload. The Customs
process was easy using the fixer, allegedly the same one Ewan and Charlie
used and this i believe as there's only two here. The car was untouched and
we could at last sleep in the car again. A reasonably quiet night.
Omelette for breakfast again with the Danish biker Henning. He's almost
become part of the trip and we've just made him Spaghetti in the desert.
He's staying in the crappy hotel in Abri and we are outside of town. This
could be the last time we see him as his trip is longer than ours so unless
we run parallel in Sudan we might not see him again for a few years. We
could bump into him in South America as he also plans to go there next.
For those that need to know the new Sudan mobile is +24 99 60 11 62 38
complete with its super slow internet access. Text messages received are
free. Email is also working to the usual birdmail addresses.
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