Words from the editor
Hi there all, it’s me again Elaos Natsan the teams editor.
We are approaching the cruelly hot Nubian desert in northern Sudan and were glad to park off for 2 days in Khartou…..
These 2 days were dedicated to rest and sort out some administrative action such as the booking of the Wadi Halfa ferry.
Team Lipstick and Bulldog decided to spend the 3 nights in a hotel in Khartoum whereas Icevan put their sleeper home up at the Blue Nile sailing Club which must have been a very nice place some 27 years ago…. and no longer suitable to put up tents.
The hotel on the other hand was only 4 years old and in tip -top shape and for 165 USD / room thought to be very good value for money . The reception promised to put an extra sleeper couch in each of the rooms so that each team member had its own bed.
As this did not materialise within 3 hours Andre (Oliphantie) spoke to reception over the phone and spelled it out again:
Please we are waiting for sleeper couch – you understand we have no sleeper couch in the room……. We need sleeper couch.
Within 5 minutes a knock on the door – and there he was – the friendly house boy with …………… a pair of slippers ( not sleepers ) for Andre…
South African English and Sudanese English is really not well synchronised and many misunderstandings happen.
The teams went by taxi to the local office of Mashanshart Travel which would handle the arrangements for the ferry through the Assuam dam for all the cars and bikers. They spoke to Midhat Mahir whose brother Mazaar Mahir is based in Wadi Halfa ( +249912253484 for Midhat and +249122380740 for Mazaar ).
The Ferry would leave on 13th July and the teams booked for all cars and bikes as well as all team members – the bikers at that stage were 2 days behind.
Team Bulldog had to book their vehicle into the local Toyota repair centre for – yes you guessed it – another repair to their right hand front wheel bearing.. the other team members went through some local markets – ( Souks ) and a newly built shopping complex. The rest of the day was spent in the hotels pool and later in the garden restaurant which forms part of the hotel complex.
There was a lot of activity the following day in the hotel as dignitaries from all over the world arrived to be part of the celebrations in South Sudan which would become independent on the 9th of July and forming the 54th state on the African continent. Presidents from Ghana, Nigeria and even South Africa obviously shared the view of the ELAO members that this hotel -the Burj al Fateh -offers an acceptable stay over.
A huge security entourage from South Africa was present awaiting president Zuma’s arrival and the teams hoped for another picture with him. This however did not materialise as he arrived very late and left early next morning for the celebrations in Jiba – South Sudan.
Mark and Denis were down in bed with what they assumed to be Malaria and Andre had such a running stomach that he also decided to stay horizontal in order to avoid gravity putting him under extra pressure.
Rene and Willy strolled around the hotel sites and even found some alcohol free beer in one of the hotel pups.
Lipstick and Bulldog were connected to the hotel’s electricity supply in order to keep the fridges and deep freezers going.
Yeah so that’s all I can report for the resting days in Khartoum – I still enjoy very much to be with the teams on their dream trip and share lots of laughter’s with them. I am looking forward to the northern Sudanese desert – the Nubian Desert.
Thanks again for all the messages received from all over the world – the Internet is terribly slow in Sudan. All team members send their best regards to all the friends and families that send them a message and greet them all. Unfortunately it is impossible to reply individually due to restriction in both time and internet access…
The teams are looking forward for more messages and I will make sure that you will be updated on all the happenings en tour.
ELAO NATSAN – editor on tour………………………………..