As we disembarked the boat entering Sudan, we cycled straight past the first and only town for the next 180km! Wadi Halfa was a very small town where we stopped to collect our water storage for the next few days. There were already some obvious comforting changes
We bought fruit at honest prices, no bartaring
- We ate lunch in peace, people who came up to you wanted to shake your hand rather than shout in your face!!
- As we got the bikes ready the locals exaggerated the need for water making us drink numerous full cups of water
Sudan has been a breath of fresh air after Egypt. The heat has been a challenge but the sceneries and quiet peaceful camping spots have been a dream. There are hardly any animals that can live and survive in the Sahara Desert. You can hear the harmless dung beetle swivle in the sand when you drop off to sleep under the blanket of clear night African stars. You can sleep and rest well until the sun rises and you are set for another day.
I completed my first 1000km as I cycled into the remote desert. The tarmacked road from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum was completed last year so was a dream to cycle on. There are storm drains which are perfectly designed for cyclists breaks - the only shade we could find!
The mountains in the distance compete with the neverending horizon of layered sand.
The highest temperature we calculated was midday - 48 degrees celcius / 21 percent humidity. I must curse the strict islamic country, Sudan for making me cover up while cycling in the veracious heat. I really do hope they appreciate my level of respect wearing trousers and a t shirt to cycle the Desert. The night temperatures do drop to a scorching 25 degrees celcius! This is winter; do not cycle in Sudan in the summer.
Thank god for the wind - I do not thank god for the flies! The strong prevailing southerly wind has pushed me up slopes and along at speed making things more exciting in the heat! When the wind is coming from the side you are also very grateful; the natural ventilation tackled my sweat and made it dissappear into salt molecule stains on my t-shirt.
It was spectacular to once again come across the Nile feeding dotted villages and trees after 2 days of cycling. It is an outstanding sight to come across a river 3 times the size of the Thames in one of the most arid dry places in the world.
Eid is Islamic Christmas. All families join together for four days for the religious ritual, to eat. They kill 1 lamb or 4 if you have a big family and the resources! People have been overly generous, we were continually invited to join family meals or for tea on the road or once we stopped in Dongola.
Steves irriplacible Rohloff Hub snapped which was turmoil considering we were cycling another 10000km to Cape Town (and Steve another 4 continents!) let alone the 80km stretch to the nearest town with a broken spoke. Dongola is the next relatively big town inbetween Wadi Halfa and Khartoum so we were very lucky to be so close. In Dongola we met a lovely Korean family who took us under their wing.
Despite the poor infrastructure and development the views I have heard from a traveller that came up from the South is that they are all wanting independence. The North would like to stay as one country to share the profits of the Southern oil reserves. Unfortunately the islamic North government officials have threatened the South saying if the countries are separated there will be war.
It is time for the next country; a change, another adventure to keep me on my toes. After so many thoughts as to why I am here I have figured out that it is the unexpected makes me feel alive.