Monday 1 December 2008

25th November 08

Date: 25th November 08
Location: Khartoum, Ethiopia
Weather: Very, very hot and sunny. 40°c
Status: Baking in the daytime…..

Up at first light which is the only time of day during which you can acheve anything as the temperature is so much lower! Packed away the tent quickly and updated some more of the website then Bre, Ammon and I drove out to the ony bank in town which supposedly would allow you to use a visa card to withdraw local currency.

Found the brnch no problem and after a quck chat with the manager established that this ervice had been available up until a week ago but since a US businessman used it and the American government found out this loophole in the countries sanctions against Sudan, it has been closed, damn them!

Instead swapped some dollars at the Forex and then got all the photocopies we’d need in order to gain our registration with the government here, a clever money making initiative which means all aliens must register within three days of arriving in the country at a cost of $40. Once they’d all been completed we handed them in together with the relevant form and photo and waited.

During this time we drove off to find a Land Rover parts place which by chance had removed a rear shock absorber mount from an old vehicle the day before and let me have it at a knock-down price. I’ll keep it should the other one fail.

Stopped at the office of one of the travel agents who helps organise the barge across Lake Nasser for information and it turns out that we’ve just missed one of them by a day and the next scheduled one leaves on December 10th ….too late for us. The charge to charter one independently of other people is $3500!!!! He will find out if there are any others booked we could get on with. I really do hope there is….

Returned to collect the completed passports and then back to the camp for an afternoon siesta in the sweltering heat of mid-afternoon…how they cope when the mercury hits 50°c in the summer I don’t know!

Filled the truck with water and supplies before getting heading out for dinner with Bre and then going to bed.

End of day location: Khartoum, Sudan
Distance covered: 10kms

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