July 16, 2024

Desert camping in Northern Sudan

(19 November 2011)

The wind picked up during the night and I had to wrap myself in the tent cover on Tania’s porch. I woke up early and started making coffee just before the sun came out.

Making coffee in bed
After breaking up camp we rode over the hard sand towards the road again. We were almost a kilometre off the road and difficult (we hoped) to spot from the road. The sand gave way as we skimmed over the surface and we had to keep the revs high so as to not bog down, but the Motomias surprised me yet again!

We camped behind one of these trees:

Camp from the road
The plan was to visit Jebel Barkal (a holy mountain that houses some or other tomb), but the entry fee was 35 Sudanese Pounds each. We have almost stopped our spending entirely in order to reach Egypt, so decided to take a few steal shots instead.

Steal photo of Jebel Barkal
There are also a few pyramids close to the road, so no need to go inside.

Pyramids at Jebel
By the time we’ve filled our fuel tanks we were starving, so we stopped at a local restaurant for Damia (don’t know what it is, but it’s great and looks like chicken nuggets – I think it’s made from maize though) and bread. Tania updated the blog for the previous day and we met some locals and a few Czech tourists.

Blogging at Karima
After buying some Damia sandwiches for the road, we headed West across the Black Desert towards Dongola. This is a new tarmac road that’s not marked on my version of T4A yet. The landscape is absolutely stunning and we didn’t see much traffic on this stretch of road.

Black desert road to Dongola
Some 50 km before Dongola we saw three cyclists and stopped for a chat. Moments later three motorcyclists also stopped there and we exchanged some stories.

The great gathering
The bikes were all but standard and the one had a sidecar with a dog in it! Ferdie en Kika, miskien die KLR so modify vir die twins?

Poor doggy
The German bikers quickly left and Simon (a Brit who met the two South African cyclists, Mark and James, in Aswan) asked whether we want tea. They stopped to hide from the wind and were waiting for the sun to lower and the wind to calm down before riding on. We had a nice long chat and Arabic tea, and exchanged details before leaving the three legends behind.

Three legends tea
When we reached Dongola we had about 20 minutes of sunlight left, so bypassed town and quickly fuelled up and hit the road again in search of a spot to camp. The next 50 km out of Dongola had people and small dwelling alongside the road, so we couldn’t find a place to camp before dark. By the time we pulled off the road it was completely dark and we could still see some light in the distance and hear some dogs barking off to one side. There was nothing for it but to set up camp a couple of hundred metres from the road. The wind was still blowing, so I decided to sleep in the tent tonight. Let’s hope we’re not on someone’s front lawn.


4 thoughts on “Desert camping in Northern Sudan

  1. Amazing wat die manne alles aanpak, maar Tania jy “beat” hulle sowaar. Deur alles lyk jy asof jy nie deur die woestyn is nie. Bly julle het veilig by doe grens aangekom. Die woestyn klink na ‘n unieke belewenis. Dan is die Motomanias ook wenners!! Mooi loop en voorspoed vir die oorgang na Egipte jul laaste mylpaal!! Ek bewonder julle twee en die bikes.

  2. Dis die mooiste landskap waar julle ry en kamp. Ek wonder altyd hoe warm julle moet kry? Cairo se weervoorspelling is so 10 grade koeler bedags…..Lekker ry verder. V1xx

  3. Opwindend!! Stel julle voor met B, S of W in ‘n ‘side’car’! Dankie weer vir julle moeite met die ‘posts’ en die lekker baie foto’s wat elkeen sy eie storie vertel. Julle het ‘n paar getroue ‘ouer’ bewonderaars met ‘ouer’ toerusting wat soms sukkel met die foto’s, maar hulle mis geen ‘post’. Wadi Halfa is seker ‘n ‘buzz’ – hoop als verloop glad! XXX

  4. Mischa is a poet. It’s ok if you haven’t read his poems yet (though you should certainly remedy that as your future children will be quoting them). Amber is a dancer who’s movements are imbued with a grace which is unfortunately rarely found in our species. One could be content just watching her make tea, but what a loss it would be not watch her dance on stage.

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