July 16, 2024

Strange visitations in the night

The wind did not die down during the night as I assured Tania, but it was none the less probably the highlight of the trip. There is something magical about sleeping under the stars that I cannot explain. Trying to keep the sand out of my hair, ears and nose kept me awake most of the night, resulting in us not missing the moon rising over the dunes. Shortly afterwards we heard a grumbling noise close by. We were surrounded by camels. There must have been at least 15 or 20 and they were all eating from the three lonely scrubs around our tent. When we got up I caught the last of them.

1.Camels this morning
My sleeping bag and pillow jacket was filled with sand this morning. Even Tania, in the tent, had sand in her sleeping bag (and in her eyes!).

My bed on Tania’s porch:

2. Sleeping on the porch
While making coffee we had another visitation. A man and his donkey came over and unpacked all his crafts neatly on a rug. He had some weird stuff, from Sudanese banjo affairs to these water bags. When Tania asked what they were made from he just said: “Meaaaauw!”.

3.Another visitation MEAAU
We had a nice chat and he said Tania can ride his donkey, “no money”. She declined, feeling sorry for the little guy, but posed for a photo instead.

4.Tania en die donkie
Here is another photo to show the absolutely amazing surroundings we camped in. It is really lovely to feel so safe out here in the desert. Behind the dunes in the background is where the Meroe pyramids lie.

5.Camp next to the dunes
We didn’t feel like entering the pyramids (neither of us are historians of archaeologists, rather naturalists and our cash is a bit tight), so decided to walk over the dune and take some pics of the scenery and the area. This is what we saw:

6.Tania bekyk die piramides
You can see most of them has been damages by the Italian Tania explained about in the previous post, but some have been restored.

The nice thing about this site is that there weren’t ANY other people and there is no man-made structures around (apart from a piece of fence on the one side – towards the tarmac road).

After admiring this unbelievable site, we walked back over the dunes towards camp.

12.Walking back to camp
View from the top to the one side:

13.Looking out over pyramids
And on the other side: Spot our camp!

14.Spot the campsite
After packing up we enjoyed some more sand riding. It is amazing how much easier it is to ride on sand if you don’t have to stick to tracks, off-piste riding the call it. Just keep the front wheel pointing in the desired (or close to) direction and give it full beans! I am very impressed by the little Motomias’ sand riding abilities, even with fully inflated tyres! This was definitely the highlight of the trip so far.

Back on the tarmac highway we stopped at a truck-stop for some local food. We shared this “lovely” plate of bread, raw onions, maize-like substance, goat liver (?) and nuts (?) and hot pesto stuff. It wasn’t that bad if you keep your mind occupied!

We arrived in Atbara at around 12h00, so had the whole day to kill. We booked into the Al Safia hotel for free WiFi, aircon and TV in the room and to wash the sand from our ears. We plan to camp next to the road again on our way to Wadi Halfa, but didn’t want to spend the whole day in the sun. This afternoon we walked through to town to look for something to eat. We ended up buying fruit and biscuits for supper. The Sudanese people don’t stop amazing us! They are very respectful and it so nice to walk in the street not being stared at (or shouted at as in Ethiopia). Some people stop to say hi, and other give their produce away. When we tried to buy tomatoes, he said we can have them for free. Then when we bought grapes, guavas and mangos, another guy gave us two ice cold apples from his fridge. They don’t want anything back and refuse payment even if I insist. Sudan!

Thanks for all the comments! Peace

6 thoughts on “Strange visitations in the night

  1. Wow! My mond hang oop en ek wil sommer begin spaar vir ‘n vakansie in Sudan – kan ‘n mens kamele huur om mee te ‘toer’? Hierdie plek en sy mense is besig om julle helemaal te betower; soort soek soort, word gese. Julle sal pas in Sudan…. Dankie vir wonderlike foto’s en stories! XXXXX

  2. Ongelooflike ervaring!! Pragtige fofo’s!! Dankie jul twee. Dis so ‘n ander prentjie wat julle skilder as wat ‘n mens in koerante ens lees. Julle is baie geseënd. Geniet dit.

  3. Wow x 10. You chose an awesome camp site. Hope you bring lots of cool pics back. Ps… just checked tracks for Africa on the Voetspore website and see that the Voetspore guys entered Sudan this afternoon, 17/11, and are about halfway to Gedaref. Take care

  4. wow,lus ek nou ‘n stuk bok-lewer…dit is so ‘n effens anders Mezze platter… hehe. Julle sal moet kom “Sand-ry” klasse aanbied as julle terug is, ek gaan verseker boek vir dit!! oja – eendag as ek groot is wil ek ook so ‘n baard he soos jy (Francois)…hehe! veilig wees

  5. Nou is ek BAIE jaloers. Daai duine lyk amper onwerklik – en jul kampplek soos ‘n sprokie. En dan nog die mense se gasvryheid, dis amazing! Luv. V1xx

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