Date: 28th November 08
Location: Abri, Sudan
Weather: Another stinking hot one for us, 38°c
Status: Ready for the day ahead and the ferry….
Up at 6.30am after only four hours sleep and bleary eyed we got the trucks warmed up again. It barely seemed the engines had cooled down before we were calling on our steeds to once again carry us through the worst of the roads that this part of Africa has to offer! How they continue to run day after day I’m unsure, but this really could be the final day of off road driving that the expedition has to offer…from here to home its tarmac all the way!
Once the diesel had been filled up it was the usual process of me leading trying to pick the best track through the dust and roadworks with Kees following a fair distance behind to avoid the worst of the dust I was throwing up at him. We continued for a couple of hours with the scenery changing from level sand desert to more rocky and mountainous with the new road cutting its way through the stark landscape.
We had to stop and wait for Kees a couple of times as the tortoise developed more problems with a sticking clutch pedal and then more leaf springs breaking under the strain of still carrying too much weight.
After three hours the dust finally ended and we were graced with 50kms of new tarmac leading into the port town of Wadi Halfa on Lake Nasser, the last road section we’d be using in Sudan. We drove straight to Madgy’s office, a contact who’s well known amongst overlanders as he sorts all of the paperwork for you when you arrive.
It felt a bit of a copout really as everything he did we have done ourselves for the past 11 months….carnet, passport etc but his efficiency and knowledge of the system is second to none and allowed us to sit and watch for once. I felt a bit like Ewan McGregor and hated it…..being pampered in such a way!
Once we’d sorted everything and arranged a departure time of 7.30am we headed back to Magdy’s place for a well earned shower and drove out of town back into the desert to find a camping spot.
Cooked spaghetti Bolognese and went to bed. Big day tomorrow as Kees and I leave the group for a few days as only the drivers of the vehicles can travel with them, the Watkins will join us at a later date in 5 days time when the passenger ferry docks in Aswan.
End of day location: Wadi Halfa
Distance covered: 198kms