We had a slow morning as everything in Sudan normally only starts happening around 10 am. We ended up at another little road side café to get some breakfast. We had ample time to try out the coffee and tea as we waited for the chef to get going with breakfast – we were the first customers for the day. It was a chilly morning and I never imagined that I would be cold in Wadi Halfa, but it’s true, it is chilly here!
After an hour the breakfast arrived and it was a nice combination of different bowls with fuul (beans), salad (tomato, onion and lettuce), labne (cheese), dhamia, falafel and fried aubergine. It was good and Francois cleaned every last plate in such a way that they really did not have to think whether we enjoyed the meal or not :o)
Here is our room at the Kilopatra hotel:
Back at the hotel we waited for Mazar to meet us and while waiting we started building tiny towers from stones lying around to kill time. During this process a local man looked at what we were doing and soon joined to show us a local game they play with stones. It looked complicated, but nice, but Mazar arrived before we could get the just of it. Mazar collected our passports and carnets and off he went again. He told us to relax and enjoy Wadi Halfa and that he will be back later.
We also met up with the three South Africa cyclists, Imraan, JT and Ria again – we met them for the first time just past the border of Sudan. It was good to catch up again. We wondered how they got here so fast, but then told us that the wind was such a bother that they decided to do part of the route by bus.
After catching up with some emails and admin we went out for a stroll through town and then met three other bikers who have just arrived from the ferry from Aswan today. And finally! one of them is a proper biker girl with long hair and she is short just like me! It was great to have a chat and it was nice to get to know them better. Suzy is from Austria, Mark from Germany and Tam from Wales and they are riding together, so far they have been on the road for three months. Their bikes are still on the barge and they have to wait for them here in Wadi Halfa.
We also then met up with the Voetspore team in the centre of town and soon it became a huge mix and get together as everyone arrived from all around. It was good to catch up again and to hear all the interesting stories from the Voetspore team.
At one stage a local man with a donkey and cart stopped for a chat. He spoke excellent English and explained that the donkey’s name was Chevrolet and that it had four cylinders :o) He was very witty and soon started telling us who looked like South Africans and who didn’t. He said Andre and Johan were definitely South African, but Francois, Stefan and I didn’t make the cut. He said that we are too white and we have freckles – definitely European! He added that if Andre stayed long enough in Wadi Halfa he would turn black just like the Sudanese and he would fit in very nicely. He also pointed out that I would not make a very good Sudanese woman, too thin and my face too narrow, and said that if I was a Sudanese woman he would send me back to my father! (very funny!) he did offer some consolation and said that if I stayed in Sudan for two months and eat the local food I would get fatter. We had a good laugh and enjoyed his antics and stories.
Tomorrow at 11am we will all meet with Mazar again and then the Amaroks and Motomias will be loaded on the barge. The ferry is set to depart tomorrow at about 5pm. We look forward to the ride to Aswan.