Sudan…a country known for it’s turbulent history. We would like to know you better Sudan. But first, we had to take a big hurdle…the border crossing.
The border crossing starts in Abu Simbel by taking the military ferry to cross Lake Nasser at 7 o’clock. At 6:30 we arrived and the ferry had left… great. Luckily we had explored Abu Simbel the day before and we had discovered another ferry, the local one. One hour later, we were on Lake Nasser chatting with curious truck drivers.
We also met Hamada, a fixer on the Egypt side of the border, who asked if we needed help. Not many overlanders try without a fixer but we were being stubborn and were willing to put in the extra hours. Although everything was in in Arabic, the officers were friendly and pointed us in the right direction. After 3 hours, lots of papers, copies and stamps, we could exit Egypt. All pumped that we were able to do this ourselves we were ready to tackle the Sudanese border. But before we could even enter the gate Mazar was called for us and we knew he was a fixer. While still in front of the gate, Mazar took our passports and carnet and left. Okay…this was not going to plan. We found our passports back one hour later at a desk where we could stamp them into Sudan and after 3 hours Mazar came back with car insurance and a stamp in our carnet. Actually, Mazar was a funny guy and we could pay him whatever we wanted so it was all good. After 6 tiring hours they opened the gate for us. We are in Sudan!
We drove 10 km and parked our car in the middle of the road. We did not see anybody and did not hear a single thing. Just us and the desert. We were tempted to wild camp but decided to stay in Wadi Halfa. A little village, that was bustling with street life just after afternoon prayer. We ate chicken from the bone with our hands on the streets surrounded by men who ate foul (bean stew). A warm welcome to Sudan.
The next days we spent driving through the desert, visiting pyramids and doing supply runs (food and fuel) in villages. The diesel situation is really bad, it’s only available in bigger towns and then you still don’t know if it’s really there or how long you have to wait for it. There are huge lines. But people are friendly, they even let you go first in line. People who helped all gave us their phone number in case we needed help elsewhere, so kind.
At night, we wild camped in the desert, which is amazing because there is almost no light pollution. Just before bed time two eyes in the dark looked upon us. Getting a little closer (we to ‘it’ but also ‘it’ to us) it turned out to be a fennec fox! Apart from wild camels, scorpions and some birds, our first wildlife!