The Temple of Soleb
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
After again gassing up at a busy station in the big city of Dongola, I move North on the Western side of the mighty Nile River. I’ve been told this side of the river is much more isolated and beautiful, and I’m excited to see what I can find.
The relentless wind is stronger than ever before, and again makes being outside the Jeep extremely unpleasant. I spot tons of dunes and rocky outcrops I would love to explore, but my patience wears very thin very quickly.
Visible directly from the road I stop at the stunning Temple of Soleb, and wander the site all alone for an hour. Way back in West Africa I often felt like Indiana Jones in the thick jungles, and now like never before I feel like Indiana Jones wandering around this massive temple full of carvings and massive stone structures.
The whole site is extremely impressive, and I can’t wrap my head around the fact there is not a single person here – no tourists, no locals, nobody. It’s like I have left the regular Earth behind and I’ve somehow moved to an Earth where there are breathtaking things to see, but no people to see them.
I’m struggling to wrap my head around Sudan. It is so incredibly beautiful, and the people are so incredibly friendly it’s difficult to understand.
I’m already planning ahead for the notorious border crossing into Egypt, and while I want to continue North on the West side of the river, I must meet someone at the major crossing on the East side who will have important paperwork for me. I can’t cross into Egypt without it, so I have no choice.
I backtrack a hundred miles, and happily get amazing gas mileage while driving with the relentless wind. After cutting through the stunning desert where I think about wild camping, I pick my way through a tiny town on the edge of the nile and locate a small ferry making the crossing. I wait around with some locals who are impressed to see me here, and then for $1USD the Jeep and I make the five minute crossing of the very impressive Nile River, which is starting to look more like a lake at this point – it is so wide and massive.
Now on the Eastern Side of the mighty River, I continue North, towards the final border crossing and country of this entire expedition.
Egypt is close now.
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