Update: 26 october 2009

Sudan.

Day 58.

Update where we are now..
Asalam aleikum arrived in Gadarif.


Trough Egypt and Sudan.
As I mentioned before we would have liked not to go trough both countryís because of all the paperwork and costs. We planned to go to Aqaba on the Red Sea and find passage to Djibouti. Well we didnít succeed. It was to difficult and the only ship that coul would arrive the 25th of Oktober and arrive mid November in Djibouti. O no luck. After all options where carefully looked at we decided to stick to the original plan and take the hurdle! We booked a ferry to Nuweiba in Egypte from Aqaba. From there we would ride to Shar el Sheik and take another ferry to Hurgada. That was a bit uncertain because it had conflicting information on the internet that it did not take any vehicles on board. Anyway we would try. The ferry to Nuweiba was without problems. It was a old Scandinavian vessel which used to sail between fredrikshavn and Larvik, ironacly the first ferry we took on this trip! Than we arrived in Nuweiba and the circus could start. We opted again for a so called fixer. This one came recommended and worked for the tourist police. We handed all papers to him and followed him trough a non logical process of paperwork and paying lots of money. It all took 5 hours before we where done and included the following. Step one; get a visa. Step 2; get it stamped at the tourist police. Step 3; get vehicle insurance. Step 4; get your Egyptian number plates. Step 5 get a Egyptian drivers license. Step 6 get your carnet stamped. Step 7 get someone to check if all numbers on the carnet are the same as on the bikes and step 8 get authorization to leave. I had promised Bob to stay calm and patient and I did! You should realy see the humor and silliness of it. After we drove out of the harbor area we went to Dahab to get more info on the ferry to Hurgada and indeed it did not take anymore vehicles including motorcycles, Shit! That ment we had to drive all way up Suez and ride down again. A total detour of about 800 kilometers. Well sit back, fill up and enjoy the ride!? And that ride was very boring! It is a straight road all the way up and down again. We made the best of it and put our I pods on. In Suez I missed a sleeping policeman, a large bump in the road, and flew several meters trough the air with all water bottles I just bought flying everywhere. I might have ruined my front schok absorber there as well because it started to loose oil soon after. We rode to Hurgade which is just another holidaycicus on the red sea. I hate those places and we carried on south to Safaga and slept in the Nemo hotel which is run by a Dutch guy. We had a very enjoyable evening bigi including Dutch beer and old cheese! Splendid. The next day we needed to reach Aswan to get our passage to Sudan. We set of early and made good progress till Marsa Alam where we had to cross over from the Red Sea to the Nile. The road takes you straight trough the Eastern Sahara and is 258 kilometers long and ends in Idfu on the Nile. We stocked up on fuel and water and rode off. After 1 kilometer there was one of the many checkpoints. Passports please and they took them inside. Outside temperature 42 degrees Celsius. We had to wait for a big boss to show up. It would take 15 minutes. When he was there he took his time and came walking toward us with a pistol stuck between his belt and shirt and a dark pair of sunglasses on. His English was bad but he asked for 100 Egyptian pounds to pass!? When I asked what for he repeated his demand and I switched language to Dutch and asked again why we had to pay. He could not understand and repeated his demand. I then took out my cell phone and told him I would call the embassy to check if all was correct! Pure bluff but it worked out to be just right for him. He stepped aside and waved us trough but we had to follow a military car. The drove 70 kilometers per hour and the little Toyota smelled and smoked like a giant truck! We decided to take the risk and passed them and would see at the next checkpoint if all hell would break loose? It did not and we enjoyed the rest of the ride. We made it to Aswan just before dark and stayed at the wonderful friendly Kylani hotel which I can recommend. We wnt out for some diner and crashed into bed. The next morning we went to the Nile ferry transportation company and got directions in what to do that day! We met a Dutch couple there and they where nice enough to give us a ride trough all the offices we had to visit in Aswan. It was basicly the reverse cycle of coming in exept that we did not have to pay as much but did not get any back either. It took most of the day and we went to a tireshop to change our worn tires for new ones we had with us from Turkey. That went well. We met more overlanders and had a nice evening with the whole group The next day was decision day for this trip as we still had no visa for Sudan. We did not go to Cairo as everybody else but took the chance to apply for one in Aswan. And it all went very smooth, and within 2 hours we were the proud owners of a Sudanese visa. The afternoon was used to sail on the Nile and take a little nap. The next morning was sailing day and we had to be at the docks at 09.00 hrs. That seemed a bit early to me as the ferry leaves at 18.00 hrs. But then again this is Egypte! The hassle at the docks where taken care of by a fixer and after spending 5 hours running from office to office we were allowed to drive our motorcycles to the ferry. Not that they would travel with us, the would be loaded on a barge and arrive in Wadi Halfa a day later?! So be it, as long as we got on the ferry all seemed OK. The ferry is a sturdy ship but very old and dirty. We could not get any cabins because they were sold out. So spend 21 hours on deck in the baking sun or most of it under the stars. We made the best of it and finally survived the trip. The only good thing about the ferry is the food and friendliness of the crew. All the rest is shit. We arrived shortly after 13.00 hrs next day and had to wait one more hour to get off. Our Sudanese fixer had everything under control and took great care of us. He took us to his house and we met 7 more overlanders for the return trip to Aswan next day. We slept in the courtyard of his big house and had a great time. There isnít much to do in Wadi halfa and the time we had was spent sleeping and reading. We ate together and had lots of conversation, mainly about what we could expect of the road ahead. The next day the Outbound ferry left and we started to get restless about the arrival of the cargo barge. We prepaired everything for the trip to Khartoem. The barge arrived at 08.00 the next morning and we could get our bikes of at 10. The customs took only a hour and we set off for Khatoem at 15.00. we planned to ride for 2 hours and sleep in the dessert. It was a wonderful experience and I felt privileged to be there. The next day we went to Dongola to replenish our stock and fuel up. Khatoem was to far so another night in de dessert was spend. By now the drought in that area was good to be seen. A lot of dead animals and all the crops had perished. A sad site and I asked myself how this had to be, or could be improved? Khartoem is a African metropolis as all other exept that it is situated at the banks of both Nile rivers. We stayed at the Blue Nile Sailing Club right in the middle of town. We had to get our Ethiopian visa and a spare front spring which had been send from Germany. All worked out fine and we managed to get all ready for our trip to Ethiopia on time. That trip was wonderful!! We slept in Gedaref some 168 kilometers before the border. It was a adventure as wel because of the quality of the hotel. The town itself was the first feeling of being in Africa for me. Bustling streets and everything to buy from soap and mobilphones etc. The food was OK and exept for having the shitters I slept well. A early start to the border brought us there around noon. We enjoyed the ever getting greener country site and the huge amount of livestock along the road. The border crossing went well and within 2 hours we where across. Then for the first time in weeks we had winding mountain roads and they went up to 2250 meters. Temperatures dropped from 42 to 26 degrees and we even had a drop of rain!!! Wonderful and we could feel the heat been drawn out of our bodyís. We opted for the Belegez pension in Gonder and that is really paradise. Nice place, quiet and clean with the best staff thinkable . We took one day of rest and will then continue north to the Simien Mountains.

See you next week!! Arnold & Bob.


Update: 26 october 2009

Sudan.

Day 58.

Update where we are now..






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Update: 24 october 2009

Sudan.

Day 56.

Update where we are now..
Making miles to Khartoum





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Update: 23 october 2009

Sudan.

Day 55.

Update where we are now..
Making miles to Khartoum



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Update: 22 october 2009

Sudan.

Day 54.

Update where we are now..




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Update: 21 october 2009

Sudan.

Day 53.

Update where we are now..




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