Dongola rest day

Mark Zuckerberg would be proud. In Sudan we’re told asking for “facebook” is at least as recognizable as asking for “internet”. We’ve reached regional city of Dongola and have day to rest, wash and recharge before cycling on to Khartoum.

I’ve got more complete posts and photos for Sudan riding days, but will need Wifi before I can post them. However, have enjoyed riding in Sudan so far, though it is getting a bit warmer. It took us five hours to clear immigration and customs into Sudan from the boat, but once in, it is a bit different world here. Wadi Halfa reminded me a bit of the dry desert planet from “Star Wars”, though without the lively bar scene. Definitely an end of the world place.

From there we’ve had one tough day of riding and two medium days. Roughly corresponding with days, the landscapes changed as follows:

  • Initially, we cycled parallel but not in view of the Nile. Mostly dry desert scenery, with just an occasional settlement. Gold mining towns we were told. Our first day had some tailwinds and while longest at 149km, was still medium riding. It was nice to soak in the river, though we also got our introduction to these small buzzing flies.
  • After this, we more closely paralleled the Nile. There would be more settlements to our right. Unlike Egypt where even smallest towns might have two story buildings, here everything was single story, often surrounded by mud walls. Tallest here would be local mosque with minaret. We still cut across desert areas, but our proximity to the Nile also brought us many small flies. In the afternoon it became quite hot and was important to keep hydrated (I’m carrying 4.5 liters which seems to be enough for now, but have another 3 liter bladder I will likely pack in addition if it gets warmer). Our middle day was toughest for me so far on the tour
  • After this we continued to parallel the Nile. What was different was that we also passed irrigated fields. More settlements and a little more populated. Eventually ended in regional center of Dongola. Still warm in afternoon but only 112km on third day.

The road is quite good with fairly light traffic. A few different things we see along the way:

  • King of the road are these big buses that go very fast and with horns screetching and blaring. They stop for nothing.
  • Little van mini-buses go much slower. Covered with Arabic lettering and often a wave.
  • Local transport seems to be pickup trucks, some with a cab on back and often with many passengers. Good for friedly honks and wave.
  • Some local box trucks but not much
  • Donkeys and donkey carts are local field transport. Not much on the road, but we pass them by.
  • Kids might have bicycles.

So far pretty easy to travel and with occasional “coke stops” as it gets warm.

Dongola is good camping in local zoo (only animals are statues and us). Yesterday was holy day, but town is more lively today. Still enjoying my rest day and getting ready for road ahead.

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