Date: 29th November 08
Location: Wadi Halfa, Sudan
Weather: As it has been for the last two weeks, hot and sunny, 37°c
Status: Moving but not driving….on the barge at last!
Up at first light and packed away after a light breakfast…today is the day when we separate for a few days and take different methods of shipping in order to arrive in Aswan.
We drove the trucks to Magdy’s office and went through the final paperwork in order to get our clearance for the shipping company. The Watkins, minus Savannah as somehow she managed to get herself on the barge too with an oscar-winning emotional drama queen performance, organised where they’d be staying for the next few nights as they await the passenger ferry.
A couple of hours later all was completed and Kees and I drove into the customs area of the port and finally onto our barge. Unpowered and chained to the side of two other barges, our floating home for the next two days was manoeuvred into position alongside the powered version complete with radar and wheelhouse and after a few minutes of work by the crew we were in position for the journey ahead.
It forms an exciting part of the trip and one which I’ve read about extensively on the web and through contact with other overlanders, this is the last part of the journey from Cairo down to Cape Town which cannot be driven due to military reasons…at least for the next year as there is a new road being built which will render this part of the trip redundant, a real shame as its really quite romantic…just wish Bre was here to share it with!
After we’d cruised at 13.5km/h for just over an hour we arrived at the border, well a group of huts and a camel on the west of the lake, and the barge was driven right up to the beach until it could go no further. The officials from Egypt came on board confirmed the passports and vehicles were in order and promptly left again, we continued on our way.
The sunset was spectacular to the rear of the vessel but half an hour too early as we arrived at the banks of the Abu Simbel temple just after it had dipped below the horizon….to dark for photos, but then all of a sudden the tourist light show started and we were treated to an awesome sight as we slowly cruised past, the temple illuminated in all of its brilliance, and for free!
Its great to be moving towards the next country and the downtime gives me a chance to clean and repair the truck after the last few rushed days of dusty bumpy travel.
End of day location: Lake Nasser, Egypt
Distance covered: 95kms at bedtime