Yes, yes I know, they are in conflict with South Sudan for oil, and from what the media dish up that must make most of the people of Sudan evil heartless bastards. It cannot be further the truth.
It took us some time to wrap our minds around the dynamics of this strange weird society. Sudan is a Muslim run law country, no alcohol or anything that is against the laws of Sharia. Woman are indoors, mostly men are around and can be seen working around towns and on the street.
It is safe to go around Sudan, you can leave your wallet lying around for a week and it will be there when you get back, not so sure about a woman though. Shops left everything as is when they go to pray, nothing got locked up. People are the most warm-hearted inviting people we have ever met. We got invited for meals and drinks where ever we go. They even insist we stay over in their homes.
Whether it is their religion that is the foundation of their good or because they are just honest to good people at heart, I am not sure. But in a country where its desert as far as the eye can see and the heat reaches a scorching 50 degrees just after 11am. It takes a special kind of human to uphold a sense of humor and a smile. There must be a special heaven for Sudanese, they are good honest people living in a hell I would not have been able to endure. The heat, haziness from sand storms everyday will drop the best motivational speaker into depression.
It is easy to figure out that as with most other countries, Angola as example, are in the same situation, the 5% connected politicians ruining it for the rest of the 95% of the population. The deal for oil could have been settled without the war, no doubt.
I do not want to write about this, but that is part of travel and we will be travelling to countries in future not on the tourist list. The bad comes with the good, which is the reason why I loved Sudan so much. It’s a harsh unforgiving land with a deep rich soul.
There’s one big huge bloody calamitous issue with Sudan, NO BEER! And I am no dipsomaniac, far from it, but drinking Coke, tea and water in 50° heat is acceptable and tolerable for maybe a day. After that your body wants something bitter and cold. With that heat very few fridges were able to cope with the heat. This is not South African mid summer Richtersveld heat. This heat is downright evil. Anything after 11am and people get out of the sun, to take rest.
How in the name of all that is holy, can an entire nation deprive themselves from the healing powers of beer is beyond reason and logic.
Back to our travel, Elsebie’s bikes battery got worse and it came to a stage where the bike had to start first time round or we had to jump start the bike. We set up camp in Khartoum at the National camp site. It’s not really a camp site, it use to be sports grounds with accommodation converted now into army type housing with grassy patches and shrubs fences. In the back of our camp refugees from the South got trucked in during the night with help from NGO’s.
Unable to source a battery in Khartoum we had a battery couriered to us at an obscene amount. DHL take no prisoners, damn assholes!
While ‘tracking down’ a battery for Elsebie’s bike my Dakar’s water pump impeller broke while we were in over 50° heat in the middle of midday traffic. The cotter pin holding the impeller to the shaft decided to disintegrate leaving us stranded 10km away from the camp. We were using only my bike at the time.
Late the afternoon we made it back to camp, wanting nothing else than hard liquor and beers. We “imported” some whiskey which had us smiling about the events. Hey, it’s part of travelling, you get shit at some stage no two ways about it.