6 October 2015
We now are in Khartoum in Sudan after leaving Aswan in Egypt, about a week ago; it’s good to be out of Egypt and while the country has some of the most significant monuments and artifacts mankind has ever produced; such as Tutankhamen’s Tomb, Karnak Temple and of course the Pyramids, the current political situation has made the country a bit chaotic. Having said that, we were extremely well looked after by the authorities with a virtual army of police guiding us through the countryside. One can only hope that things get back on track there, the economy needs tourism badly. The antiquities visited in Egypt were awe-inspiring and are a MUST see on anyone’s “Bucket List”.
Our first night in Sudan was a treat none of us expected. Our local fixer took us into his home, provided us with a Sudanese feast and let us pitch our tents in his backyard. But the real treat was meeting his family, his wife, his father in law and various other nephews and nieces. Dressed in typical Sudanese attire of white robes and sandals for the men and colourful burquas for the women, they treated us like an extension of their family. And his beautiful small children had the group wrapped around their little fingers. It was a great introduction to the simple friendly manner of Sudanese people.
The following day we shared a breakfast with our Sudanese family and said our goodbyes before pushing into the Nubian Desert where the mercury really started to climb.
The desert terrain changed constantly throughout the coming days from red dirt, to flat yellow sand to volcanic rock. It was like a canvas of constantly changing pictures. But it was hot and the campsite was welcomed at the end of each day.
Last night we experienced some dirt riding on the way to our campsite. For some it was a challenge and for others, it was great fun. But it was good to get some sand riding experience under our belt. There’s sure to be more ahead.
This morning we got up at sunrise and rode through the sand dunes to the famous Meroe pyramids of the Meroitic kings and Queens. It was a spectacular morning wandering around the ancient site. In the distance nomadic goat herders moved their stock around and camel drivers plodded past. For these people, life probably hasn’t changed much for 100’s of years. It’s a simple life that most of us will never experience and we can only hope that our march of civilization and technology doesn’t one day destroy it all.
After the hot days of riding across Northern Sudan it was a welcome relief to arrive at the wonderful Acropole Hotel owned and operated by the equally wonderful George who had arranged for the Minister of Tourism and the national TV network to greet us on our arrival. We are all looking toward the relative cool of the Ethiopian Highlands.
Find out more about the expedition – http://www.compassexpeditions.com/tour/major-expeditions/cairo-to-capetown/