Northern Sudan / Sudan Ends
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
I continue North on the Eastern side of the Nile River, and again simply drive off into the desert to find a place to camp for the night. I would love to camp right on the river, but every square inch is taken up with houses and farming. I’m sure I could ask permission and camp, but to be honest I’m enjoying the solitude right now, and I thoroughly enjoy another night in the rocky desert, tucked somewhat out of the still howling wind.
Further North I wander into the town of Wadi Halfa, immediately before the border of Egypt. Town has a bustling market where I stock up on the usual supplies. I buy enough vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs and bread to last a week for a few US dollars, and before I Know it a local who spends six months a year in London has invited me for a coffee in his little restaurant.
The Sudanese know how to make coffee, and it is extremely strong and with a very strong Ginger flavor – absolutely delicious and I’m soon buzzing. We chat about life in Sudan, and he mentions I’m lucky to be visiting in winter – in summer this region is easily 130F (50C) every single day, and he said even for him that is unbearable.
The Sudanese are really fed up with their dictator of a President, and they are staging protests all over the country right now. I’m impressed this man is happy to talk so openly about it, and he says finally it looks like things might change. Certainly everyone is hoping it will. Although I’m very safe, he explains, it’s probably not a good idea to take photos of the market and people around – everyone is a little tense right now and he thinks it best that I keep my camera in the Jeep. After all, I could be a government spy.
It is extremely easy to change US dollars into local pounds – everyone wants to get their hands on hard currency – and I get top dollar for my $10USD which I use to buy everything I need. Again here there doesn’t appear to be a gas shortage, and I am surprised to see a few stations with no line at all. I assume they are simply empty, though when I ask the guy nods and fills the Jeep tank as usual.
Although gas is cheap in Egypt, it’s stupidly cheap in Sudan, so I again fill to the brim.
I camp just a few miles outside town, and again feel as if I have driven off the planet.
Sudan has been a fascinating and stunning country, and I’m sure I will return one day. I hope the wind dies down so I can explore outside the Jeep a little more next time!
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