All were told to be ready around lunchtime and Mazaar came around the house in the morning to give us the stamped carne for the car as well as all the export papers which are required.

Transportation of the car came to 330 USD whilst the charges for the passenger transportation comes to 70 USD for first class and 52 USD for no class – there are only these 2 options

The teams took off with their belongings just after lunchtime and arrived at customs control shortly thereafter.

The customs control building had the length of a soccer field and half its width and was filled with locals and their oversized luggage bag. The temperature of some 43 degrees and all these people made sure the teams placed themselves close to the opening. After passport control the members had to produce their belongings to customs who were not really interested too much and no search was done to find goodies which should not be transported through Sudanese borders …… alcoholic beverages were finished 3 days ago.

Arriving at the ferry the task was to get onto the boat through a normal sized door, whilst 400 and something other people are trying the same thing inclusive of their oversized bales of luggage and suitcases.

As one entered the ship passports were collected by a non-English speaking crew member and the teams were unsure when one would receive this much required document back. Team Lipstick made it to their first class cabin and realised that first class basically meant a cabin with 2 beds above each other – next to a 700 mm walkway which made sure that you either fall against the wall or into the undersized bed.

Thereafter a quick check of the toilets and wash room facilities outside the cabin and….. team Lipstick realised that it was time to “cork up “.

Back in the cabin Willy and Andre swallowed 2 Imodium’s hoping that this would assist in staying away from these filthier than filthy toilets during the passage to Aswan…

Not only could Andre and Willy show any experience in doing the necessary “Arab style “meaning standing or kneeing whilst dispersing any food waste but also the immense smell and dirt necessitated operation” cork up”.

A quick check of the air conditioner and team Lipstick realised that this useful piece of equipment must be remote controlled as there were no adjustment dials, switches or control buttons to be found… There was a breeze of cool air however coming out of the outlets and hope was high that this would last the full night.

A further quick check of the beds and team Lipstick decided that it would be best for Willy to sleep in the top bunk – the load capacity and seemingly weak construction would have not allowed Andre to move to this penthouse position – very much so as he had to sleep with knees high up to his stomach as the length of the beds did not allow for a fully stretched out elephantine…

As with any boats of this luxurious class there was indeed a 6 table restaurant offering take it or leave it menus – and the teams gathered there to get really cold cool drinks which at about 24 degrees where very stomach friendly other than the unidentifiable curry with a world record small chicken leg…

Night time was setting in – the full moon appeared and the boat was moving at a speed of 23 km/ hour according to our Garmin’s.
The choice was, a cabin risking a claustrophobic attack, a restaurant with warm cool drinks or an upper deck covered by a friendly Muslim society singing unidentifiable whining songs whilst being on their knees… facing east and banging their heads on the upper deck floor at frequent intervals….

Andre and Willy decided on the restaurant making friends with the chef de cuisine and the purser. Convincingly and with the help of good old match games like Nkongi chess they won so many of these games that the chef de cuisine promised them a western style omelette for breakfast and the purser offering all assistance and some coffee at his house after arrival in Aswan.

Soon they became the main attraction of the restaurant with every logical thinking Arab trying to beat them in all variations of the match and logic games at their disposal….

Into bed and after a solid 5 hours sleep in horizontal kneeing positions team lipstick made it back to the restaurant reminding the chef de cuisine about this great western omelette promised the night before.

What came was a piece of omelette only identifiable through André’s reading glasses because of its minute character , a huge bowl of unidentifiable soup and another bowl of beans swimming in never before seen liquids – but there was also a small triangle of goat cheese and 37 grams of best Wadi Halfa marmalade…

Convincing the chef de cuisine – by now called Fritz the cook – that he neglected on his deal with the omelette, he agreed that in compensation he would need to carry team Lipsticks Engel fridge from the boat upon arrival.

As the ship docked in Aswan, Andre and Willy where 2nd and third off the door to be opened allowing passengers to put foot into Egypt.
The door indeed opened … but some big shouldered Egyptian officials did not allow anyone of the boat for the next 45 minutes – instead they gave preference to all cargo getting offloaded first. Team lipstick must have had some 300 passengers behind them trying to start a stampede through the doors and at 43 degrees the situation was somehow nerve wrecking…

Eventually a breakthrough was achieved and all teams and passengers were allowed to get out of what was by then a boat covered in sweat, shouts and hysteria…

Off through passport control, through customs and there they were all 3 vehicles in good shape, starting at the turn of the keys …. Lipstick, Bulldog and Icevan… – it’s amazing how one can get soo attached to a few tons of metal on wheels…

No the next schlepp was to get the cars registered in Egypt – not the normal African style because this time it also involved getting ne number plates – YES Egyptian number plates – yellow after all with letters only readable by Arabic speaking individuals…

Thanks to our consultant — called Chameel – this process took a mere 3 hours and then we were on our way to Aswan finding a hotel owned by Hannan – a lady which lived in Germany for some 15 years before inheriting this guesthouse from her Dad…

Nice shower … and off to the street where the teams found a restaurant next to Papa Nile, where the waiter was kept busy for the next 2 hours to supply a few cold beers after the others – Yebooh ….Elao teams where now in the country of milk and honey inclusive of cold beers………………

Custom control in Wadi Halfa

Custom control in Wadi Halfa

 

then off by Bakkie to the harbour front

then off by Bakkie to the harbour front

 

the harbour of Wadi Halfa

the harbour of Wadi Halfa

 

Car and Bikers trying to find some comfort on the upper deck

Car and Bikers trying to find some comfort on the upper deck

 

Charles chooses strategic place next to safety boats

Charles chooses strategic place next to safety boats

 

Whilst Willy plays Nkongi chess with the boat’s crew

 

After a full nights cruise Aswan and Egypt came to sight

After a full nights cruise Aswan and Egypt came to sight

2 thoughts on “Day 43 – Crossing the Aswan Dam

  • July 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm
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    I was convulsed with laughter by reading this blog, i really have seen my brother in this situations. It’s unbelievable. I did not by any stretch of the imagination know, that my brother is such a good writer I’m very
    impressed. I know about this Ngonki 🙂 one time i’ll beat him… inschallah… the egyptian say… 🙂

    This blog is only to top with a nice picture from Andres sleeping position 🙂

  • July 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm
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    Hilarious!!!! I was also in hysterics & had to read parts of this blog to my whole office:) What a clever idea to “cork up” 🙂

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