Khartoum for the second time

We decided to camp at the well known Blue Nile Sail Club in central Khartoum. We heard that the ablution facilities are non existent and this was the reason we decided previously to camp at the Sudan National Campsite about 10km out of the city. Well, you can’t have it all…….our tent overlooked the Blue Nile that was flowing 20m away but the ablution is not usable. We are long past that something like that disturbed us. Did you know that you can wash your hair, rinse your hair and wash yourselves from top to toe with 3l of desert sun warmed water?  It is a 2 man job though. We have this cute plastic wash basin (cost R100) on a stand. You bent over it and Arno pours water over your head. (his skills became better the more he does it….the possibility of drowning because of too much water too quickly became less) you shampoo your hair and then the pouring of water starts again allowing you to rinse your hair. Did I mention that the water is coming from a 1 and a half liter water bottle that was left in the 42 degrees desert sun? Now you have about 3l of soapy water in the basin that can be used to do the body part of the bath. After lathering your body, your partner takes another bottle of desert warm water and pours it over you and viola…you are clean from top to toe except that you are still in you crocs witch is now full of soapy water. So assistance is needed to first dry one foot putting it in another shoe and then the other foot doing the same. Now you do exactly the same for your partner. It is huge fun!! I complained about the state of the bathroom and the manager sent someone who cleaned the floor….and that was that. We used our bottle technique in the bathroom helping each other. Khartoum was VERY hot. We were so tired after driving back through the desert that even the heat could not keep us awake. I woke at 5 the next morning and decided to start doing the washing. That was a good thing because at 8 the desert wind started blowing and by 10 the whole city was under a red blanket! The fine red dust goes in everywhere. Poor Arno partly unpacked the bakkie and brushed away some of the desert dust that accumulated at the back just to have a new storm of dust settling in front of his eyesAngry smile I sat with him in the shade of a tree updating the blog, frequently cleaning the laptops screen when I realized that it is no good…not for me or for the computer, so I packed it away, Arno closed the truck and we just tried to outlive the temperature and red hot desert wind. The Blue Nile Club is also home to the Melik, the gunboat used by Kitchener in what is called the Battle of Omdurman.

We walked later on to the Al Waha Mall about 2km away and enjoyed the aircon in the building buying only a few things that we needed. When the storm subsided, the air cooled down and we had a very restful night awakening  with all the guts needed to go through a border post! We left the campsite looking for the Family Park to see the confluence of the 2 Niles. It was about 3km along the Nile in the same street that we stayed in, so it was quite easy to find. Everyone tells you that you can actually see the different colour of water mingling as the White and Blue Nile gets together. Well it is true. The White Nile is light brown and the Blue Nile red brown. Both are in flood and very full, so it was a sight to delight the eye! While driving out of the city we were stopped in our tracks in a huge traffic jam that was caused by some water pipe burst we think. We sat in the street for a long time. We passed the time by taking photo’s, reading our book on the Kindle, Arno brushing away dust with his pet paint brush and talking Afrikaans to the people who spoke Arabic to us. When finally on our way again, we stopped to buy fresh veggies on the outskirts of Khartoum and were on our way to the Ethiopian border.

 

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Before the storm.

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Gunboat Melik

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Sorry state it is in.

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They were on the White Nile with the Blue Nile in front of them.

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White Nile left, Blue Nile right

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Omdurman in the background

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Making a decision

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Negotiating

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Waiting

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