Our preparations for entry into Sudan were neither straightforward nor particularly cheap, and so we were relieved to have finally made it over the land border from Egypt. Once safely in however, more admin followed with the mandatory foreigner registration process at the local police station. There was some confusion during this final phase, between the word ‘tourist’ and the word ‘terrorist’, which is a distinction we were eager to clarify. With some rather crude charade skills we managed to iron out the language problems, assuring the police Captain that we represented the former, and wished to stay very much clear of the latter.
The desert roads of Sudan have turned the heat on us once again, and as we pedal through a region which would appear to experience rainfall once every Haley’s comet, our bikes are regularly creaking under the additional weight of carrying the necessary water supplies. Of more noteworthy mention however, are the towns and villages en route, which have provided not only great hospitality but also much entertainment.
Meal times are interesting, as we make our way into some smoke-filled cooking area/shack where something will be bubbling away in a quite outrageously large pan. Once we have established that it is ‘food’ bubbling away, we request ‘two foods’ and then take the least broken chair we can find to enjoy whatever is bought over to us.
Our method of transport is certainly turning heads, and in fact sometimes it would be hard to imagine a much greater reaction had we arrived into town in a space shuttle. In a memorable moment entering the village of Abri, we were met at a crossroads by a jubilant crowd of school children celebrating their latest football victory; both parties equally confused by the other, before each going our separate ways (though we still remain unsure as to who they had beaten to warrant such a celebration, given that no other settlement existed for around 100km).
Overall, and despite the apparent attempts of every bus driver to break the land speed record, our ride through northern Sudan has been a joy.