Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sand, sand, more sand, Tarmac never looked so good.

We all departed Wadi Halfa with excitement in the air. We had heard so many conflicting reports about the Nubian dessert. For the less adventurous, or perhaps more sensible there is now a sealed road all the way to Khartoum. But we had been looking forward to this for a while, so the dessert was the route of choice. Only a few meters into the first sandy bit and I dropped my bike. A few more meters and I was off again. Could it really be this difficult for the whole 230 miles.

About ten miles in and I looked back to see Dave and stephs landrover and a few of the bikes gathered round. Kim and had a nasty fall and sprained her wrist. Fortunately an Xray in Wadi Halfa later showed that it wasn't broken, although she would not be riding for a while. Craig and I decided we would ride on hoping for the sands to become firmer and easier. Day one we managed 70 miles. We pitched our tents with both of our bikes stuck in the sand near station 4 (there are railway tracks you can follow for easy navigation). A nervous night camping with many unanswered questions hanging over us. Would this ride take three days? We don't have enough water for three days? Will it get easier? The next day we set off early Hoping to make better progress and finnish the dessert section. We had heard of tarmac only 100 miles ahead (this later proved false, but it gave us a motivational boost nonetheless). A signalling man from station four pointed out in the dessert indicating that we should ride well out away from the rail tracks. Turned out to be good advice, as we found firmer sections and managed to pick up the pace. All in all I think we must have dropped the bikes in excess of 20 times. Very hard work, although by the later sections we were becoming more confident and relaxed, loosening up on the bars, essentially allowing the bike to be partially out of control in order to gain control, and finding that 35 MPH was about the minimum speed for keeping the bike up on a level plane. Eight hours and 150 miles later we reached station ten, where we found the best tasting coca cola in the world! What a relief as now it was Tarmac all the way to Khartoum.

After a night at Abu Hamid we reached the Meroe Pyramids and were reunited with a german Couple (thomas and Dakmar, sorry if the spellings wrong) travelling by truck. We camped with them for the night, and they cooked us a fantastic meal complemented with a continuous flow of red wine. Fantastic and a big thanks to you guys!

Now we are in Khartoum and have met back up with the rest of the group. We have found a great overlanding garage, with a very helpfull local man taking care of us, even arranging an appartment for us to stay in and inviting us to his families home for dinner. Despite the political troubles, Sudan is a very welcoming place, with the local people pleased to see us here.

1 comment:

  1. oh nyyy bro...it's snowing here in Levi. Fancy a dip in ice water???or would you rather bite the dust?Cross-country season starts tomorrow and ski season next week. I have been trying a few beanies (pipo in finnish) and i might NEED to get at least one...Where about are you now?

    BTW you might want to change dessert to desert :)Although I would love to ride through a big dessert!chocolate one preferably.

    with love from snowy Finland Assi, my mum,dad and Rosa + Gooooora (Kurre) and little Niki