Monday 1 December 2008

26th November 08

Date: 26th November 08
Location: Khartoum, Sudan
Weather: Clear blue skies and sunshine….flippin hot! 40°c
Status: Hopeful and happy with the arrangements…

Up early in the morning to start the day off well with a quick phone call to Midhat to see what the update was o the situation with the ferry….he still hadn’t called them so we pottered around for the morning awaiting his call back, which never came!

Kees, Savannah, Bre and I headed out for some breakfast and could only find a take away open so had to settle for chicken schwarma at 10am washed down by another excellent juice. That’s one good thing about a country with no alcohol allowed, they do make more of an effort with their non-alcoholic juices and smoothies!

Called the second of the contacts I had the details for, a guy called Magdy who is based in Wadi Halfa and is also a good source on information for ferry information….Midhat was proving to be unreliable so I had to go elsewhere, simple!

This proved much more fruitful as he told us there was the large barge which we would need in order to get Kee’s truck on board, actually sitting at the dock in Wadi Halfa but would be leaving tomorrow which wouldn’t leave us enough time to cover the 1000kms between us and it before it departed.

Enter Ben and some diplomacy…..”if the barge waits around for us then surely the truck that is on it will benefit financially once we arrive by splitting the cost between us all?”. Magdy disappeared and called back 10 minutes later to say they wait for us but we would have to pay the daily mooring rate of $175 for every day it was delayed….no problem, we’d just halved the cost of the barge and were sure we could make it in 3 days anyway.

We left the Blue Nile Sailing club, went to the supermarket to stock up on food and supplies (on the way Kees had to pay S£100 to a guy he ran across the front of with his truck…ooops) and filled up on the lovely cheap fuel at 30p per litre.

Took the road out of the capital and drove out of the city passing the numerous police road blocks and out into the surrounding desert again….long tarmac stretches with infinite horizons off into the distance and nothing more.

Drove until an hour after sundown to the ancient site of the pyramids at Meroe, had a quick walk around them in the dark and went to bed.

A long hot days drive tomorrow me thinks…..

End of day location: Meroe, Sudan
Distance covered: 238kms

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