I know I told you that you wouldn't be hearing from us for awhile, but here we are in Wadi Halfa, Sudan, at an internet Cafe. Our trucks are late arriving from Egypt, so we are staying an extra day at the border. I have to say that I am really happy about that. The people in this town are terrific!
Surprise Rest Stop in Wadi Halfa, Sudan
First, I must tell you about our ferry ride. It wasn't bad at all! They had told us horror stories about the ride before we left, but it ended up being fine. I guess Dave and I have travelled in so much filth before that this was like a luxury. We were given a cabin in first class and were dry and warm for the night.
Don't fall for my writing, though, because to the average person, this was not a pleasant experience. The toilets at times were quite disgusting, it wasn't clean by any means, and it was way overloaded with stuff in general. We saw 3 truckloads of Twinkies alone being loaded. Up on deck, there wasn't even any room to walk because of the sleeping bodies and boxes of stuff everywhere.
Bonding With Other Riders
It was really a great experience to bond with some of the other riders though. Egypt was tough, riding a lot and going straight to sleep after dinner, so to actually talk to people was great! It took two days of sailing down the Nile into Lake Nassar and a pretty painless border crossing at customs and here we are.
Now, don't get me wrong, painless doesn't mean easy, it just means that we were all allowed through. It was a long process of sitting on the boat for a few hours and then an hour or so on land, but soon we were off in our convoy through the sand to our campsite.
We are not really sure what is going on with our trucks, but hopefully we will be on our way tomorrow. As for now, we are really loving the Sudanese people. We had heard stories of how friendly they are and the stories are all coming true.
Time for Tea
This morning, Dave and I sat down at a coffee shop for tea and a man named Abdulla Ahmed joined us and asked us to eat with him. The bowls of spiced beans kept coming along with pitas and sweet tea. He told us about the history of his village and how it used to be the greenest and lush city in the Sudan until Egypt built the Aswan Dam.
Now, it is very dry and many people have been displaced. Now, although slowly, people are returning. We talked for 2 hours and then when we offered to pay, he would not let us. He said that it was good luck to meet us and that he had enjoyed talking with us. It is really unbelievable.
They have very little, but are very open and sharing. Most people here seem well educated. Dave spoke with a group of boys who are here studying geology at a University nearby. They were eager to practice their English and very friendly.
They fed him some beans and sunflower seeds and they were on their way. We are in agreement that it was a good thing that the trucks were late, otherwise we would never have experienced the hospitality of this quiet little border town.
Reflecting on Aswan
I didn't really have much to say about our time in Aswan. We had a day there and it really wasn't much to see. Just a dropping off point for cruise people, and everyone was out to make a buck.
I have to admit, I am looking forward to Sudan and just a little happy to be out of Egypt. It was a fine country, but pretty low on my list of favourites. However, seeiing the monuments and pyramids is worth the trip.
Can't wait to share our time in Sudan with you all and hopefully change your perception of this misunderstood country.