A year’s memorable moments, Sudan

On our way from Gondar to the Matema/Quallabat border post, I developed a funny cough. We had a bad experience the previous night with bedbugs and I obviously had a allergic reaction although at that stage I did not know it. The further we drove the worse it became and at some stage I started taking Celestemine. This sort of spoiled the excitement of crossing the border into our next country. On top of this, we had a difficult border crossing on the Ethiopian side with a Customs officer who wanted a bribe….something that we NEVER did on our trip. When we  finally got to the Sudan border post, it took them 3 hours to stamp our Carnet de Passage. We were tired and I ill  when we finally drove into Sudan in a hot 45 degrees.

We were amazed to found that the landscape between Ethiopia and Sudan changed from green and high mountains to desert within a few kilometers after entering Sudan. It is as if there has been a line drawn on the border post…..from high to low, green to desert. My post on our trip from Qualabat to Wad Medani told you that it was an extremely difficult day with 2 cloudbursts, a desert wind storm, not finding a hotel in Gedaref in pouring rain and arriving after dark in Wad Medani in a cloudburst nearly having to overnight in the Hilux next to a flooded Nile.  The first few days in Sudan were traumatic for both of us. I developed Bronchitis and we were both travel weary. Everything was very foreign, we could not sleep because of the immense heat and the Mullah’s calling for prayer every few hours. Travel fatigue set in and it was the hardest time of our whole trip. We had to stay longer in Khartoum for me to get better but when we finally drove out of the city we were excited and both looking forward to our desert experience. Sudan was at the end the part of the trip that we found we keep on talking about….it was fantastic and a life changing experience that made us find characteristics in ourselves and in each other that we did not even know we had. We are proud about our Sudan experience and proud about each other and ourselves by coming stronger out of it and being able to get back on track and enjoy our trip to the utmost! Sudan was the cherry on our Overland trip’s cake.

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Ethiopia near Metema border post

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Forgotten truck on the main road to Sudan near the border

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Green but flat landscape when a few kilometers in Sudan

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Desert under water on our way to Wad Medani

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This is where I nearly broke my neck slipping on the wet tiles. This exact moment was sort of the last straw mentally and physically for us.

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Camping in 45 degrees on a stage in Khartoum

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Not a happy chappy…wondering why on earth we’re doing thisDisappointed smile

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Very ill and sorry for myself.

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Khartoum version of a Tuk-Tuk

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Experiencing dessert living

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Thousands of tires next to the road in the desert

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Resting and watering places in the Bayuda Desert

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To see the desert in flood!

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Camping behind a dune at Meroe

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A highlight of our trip. The Pyramids of Meroe

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Having a braai in the desert at Meroe

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Enjoying a  desert “bath” and sleeping under the stars

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Camping in the Nubian Desert under the stars north of Abu Hamed

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Only the 2 of us in on a 400km desert expedition without roads

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A Desert sunset

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Counting the deserted stations on a deserted desert railway to see where we must drive

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One scared woman

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The “road” to Wadi Halfa

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Another deserted station

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And another station….we had to pass 10 of them to get to Wadi-Halfa

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We had to keep an eye on the railway line not to get lost

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Was difficult at times because the railway line is long gone

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The harsh beauty of the desert

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Seeing the Egyptian Army patrolling across the border near Wadi Halfa

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Camping in Mazar’s garden in Wadi Halfa, tired but excited about our Nubian desert adventure!

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Lake Nasser where we turned finally south again. Sad that because of the unrest the ferry weren’t running to Aswan.

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Having a picnic next to the Blue Nile

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We drove along the Nile passing the Temples of Amara, Seddenga, Sulb, and Sesibi

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Nobody to be seen in the 50 degree heat

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Driving thousands of kilometers next to the river Nile

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Where two deserts meet. The Libyan desert on the eastern side of the Nile is part of the Sahara desert while the Nubian desert is on the western side of the Nile. The people that inhabits borth  deserts are mostly Berber.

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We saw bed’s everywhere in the desert

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Huge amount of water in the desert after rain that flooded Sudan

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Broken bridge after the flooding

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Not a usual sight in the desert

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Magnificent sunset at our wild camp near Jebel Barkal in the Bayuda Desert

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World Heritage Site Jebel Barkal at Karima

 

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The Pyramids at Jebel Barkal

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The city of Karima on the eastern side of the Nile

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Crossing the Nile (again)

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Driving through the Bayuda Desert in a sand storm

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Crossing the flooded Nile (again) at Atbara

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He insisted on a photo with me

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Big wash day in Khartoum next to the Nile

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Gunboat Melik at the Blue Nile Sail Club where we camped in Khartoum

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Seeing the White and Blue Nile meet with the city of Omdurman in the backgroundIMG_9922

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The burst water pipe in Khartoum the day we left

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While we waited for the chaos to come to an end in Khartoum because of the burst pipe, this little guy talked long stories to us in Arabic

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The friendly people in Sudan

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A year’s memorable moments, Ethiopia (Part 1)

Because there is no official border crossing into Ethiopia from Lake Turkana, we were  already in Ethiopia but still on our way to Omorate.  We were stamped out of Kenya in Nairobi and had 10 days to reach Omorate where there is a border post. We drove right pass the lonely Police Post where we were supposed to stop. After waiting about 10 minutes for Fanie who was driving behind us, we decided to turn back. Only on arriving at the Police office seeing Fanie’s vehicle, we remembered we were supposed to show our Passports there.It  caused a bit of explaining and calming the Policeman before we were allowed to drive on.  On reaching Omorate late afternoon, we were quickly stamped into Ethiopia but had to come back the next morning for the Carne de Passage to be stamped by Customs. Ethiopia was a real eye opener country. Beautiful and diverse. First  the Omo valley and then the huge mountains in the highlands, the Nile, the Rift valley lakes, people on the roads with their animals, hardworking woman and little girls,  little boys playing with their whips or doing tricks next to the road, rock hewn churches, castles, historic routes,  bad roads, never ending mountain passes, driving short distances that takes a whole day, staying in hotels very cheap, coffee ceremonies,  nice Ethiopian red wine, the way the people dress, the Coptic Christian churches, the contours right through the country,  ……everything made us feel that we were wandering through the Old Testament of the Bible. It is a tiring country but so much worthwhile to spent time in. In Addis Ababa, we decided to drive to through the Nile valley towards Bahir Dar and on to Gondar and Sudan. These are some of the moments on our northbound trip.

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This was not a good Border Post for the Voetspore guys….they had to turn back because they did not have Visas for Ethiopia. Johan Badenhorst warned us to get our Visas in Pretoria

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The patience of Africa

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The hardworking  woman of Africa

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The children of Ethiopia. These three came for a bath in the dry riverbed using sand to clean themselves ( Mango Camp)

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This 15 year old Ethiopian boy trains hard to become a famous athlete

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Crazy kids trying to amuse travellers to receive money. Near Lake Chamo, Arba Minch

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Getting water African way

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Having a braai at Lake Abeya

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People and animals on the road

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Woman, girls and donkeys work VERY hard in Ethiopia

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Dangerous driving

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Camping next  Lake Langano

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Entering Addis seeing this landmark

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The terrible traffic in Addis

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Camping at Wim’s Hollands House next to the restaurant

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This cat and her babies shared the entrance to our room at Wim’s

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Our bathroom at Wim’s Disappointed smile

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Man staying in a hole on the sidewalk in Central Addis

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Getting lost in Addis looking for a working ATM

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Little Coptic monuments

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Extreme green of Ethiopia

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The dangerous sliding road into the Nile valley

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The excitement of having our first glimpse of the Blue Nile

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Watchdog (baboon) at the bridge across the Blue Nile

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A Landmark moment crossing the bridge over the Blue Nile

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Farmers planting their crops in the Nile valley

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Ethiopian style horse saddle

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Our first coffee ceremony was at the Tilik Hotel in Debre Marcos

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The amazement about our journey at the coffee ceremony when the Hotel management looked at the Africa map

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Pretty girls in Debre Marcos

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VERY steep slope!

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A reminder of the war between Ethiopia and Somalia

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Carpet sellers on route from Debre Marcos to Bahir Dar

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Bible figures

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The flooded rivers running into the already flooded Blue Nile

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More Bible figures

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Rice paddies next to the Blue Nile

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The feed their animals on the tar roads

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Coptic Christian church and weird looking mountains in the flooded Nile valley

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Lake Tana and the origin of the Blue Nile

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Little Coptic Christian girl (this was a very special moment for both of us!)