July 16, 2024

Wadi Medani – Sudan’s honeymoon destination

It’s really been a pleasure travelling through Sudan these past two days. I was a bit worried about the Metema/Gallabat border crossing yesterday, but it turned out to be one of my favourites so far! I had so much gnia (?) – the sweet stuff Francois was referring to yesterday as I had to polish the whole plate that was set before me and I didn’t want to disappoint them – so I sat there eating every last bit with my right hand yum! We were still full from our lunch yesterday when we arrived at the Elhawwad Tourist Hotel in Gedaref.

The hotel didn’t have a safe parking area for our bikes, but after taking some time to decide if we wanted to stay or not due to this factor, the owner made a plan and said not to worry – the bikes can sleep in the tv room / restaurant. So off we pushed the bikes through the main doors of the hotel and into the room where it slept in style for the night. We were very grateful as this saved us a few trips upstairs as we could leave most of our luggage on the bikes. This is one more advantage of having a small bike in Africa!

Here is where they stayed for the night:

Bikes sleeping in style
After a nice cold shower we went straight to lying down and only woke up once to quickly polish a can of tuna and then went back to lying down for the rest of the night. I still can’t believe that two countries next to each other can have such different climates – Sudan is VERY hot! Thank goodness we came in Winter!

This morning we saddled up the bikes and pushed them out of the tv room. Once they were outside, I noticed with dismay that my rear wheel was flat! After trying the hand pump to inflate it a bit without any success, we decided to try our last can of tyre weld and that did the trick! We then found a place that fixes car tyres and had a compressor that we could use. Next door was also a bike parts shop so Francois went over to buy another inner tube and also bought a spare chain (just in case) that we could take with. We then changed the tyre ourselves and some of the guys working there came to sit with us to chat. They were very friendly and I could also see that they were very impressed with Francois’s tyre changing skills. We found the culprit that pierced the tyre (it was a small hole) – I drove through a staple! Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos while we were working as it is a bit difficult when you take photos of other people, but when the one guy blatantly took out his cell phone to take a photo of me(!) I demanded one dollar and everyone laughed. Everyone here is very surprised and impressed when we tell them that we are from South Africa and they all seem to think highly of the country.

Sudan is very dry and the landscape flat and barren.

Landscape

It’s easy for us to maintain a speed of 80km/per hour here as there aren’t many people around. Compared to previous countries, villages here are built further from the main road and animals wander further from the road. We did however see some clumsy camels crossing the road and the truck that was driving in front of us startled the one big guy and as he ran across the road he actually got tangled in his four legs and fell slam bam down – shame! Luckily he got up quickly again and looked like he only bruised his ego. After about 150km we pulled off the road for a quick rest under a tree.

Relaxng under a tree
Wadi Medani, where we are tonight, is a popular honeymoon destination for locals and it is located next to the Nile. The GPS didn’t have any hotels listed here so we had to ask around to find the Imperial hotel we were looking for. At one stage we stopped at a gate (as it looked like a guest house / restaurant) and Francois asked the security officer that we needed a place to drink or eat something. Halfway though we realised that it must have been some rich guy’s home and it was difficult to communicate and we must have looked very tired as he came back with a glass of water that he gave to Francois to drink. Eventually after asking around a bit more we arrived at the Imperial Hotel. When we saw the price of the rooms we could definitely not afford it so we decided to just have a quick bite to eat and then move on. But within minutes of sitting down, the manager came back saying that they can give us a discount and they gave the room to us for half price! It is still a bit more than what our budget allows, but the place has free wifi, a tv, aircon and bathroom so we decided to stay!

Tomorrow we will be heading towards Khartoum where we will be visiting Chris and Anita (good friends of my parents) and we are really looking forward to meeting them.

5 thoughts on “Wadi Medani – Sudan’s honeymoon destination

  1. Ai eks jaloers – Se baaaie liefde vir Anita en Chris in Khartoum! Wens ek was ook daar! xxxxxx

  2. Man, but did I get a fright when I thought you were ditching the Motomia for a bicycle!!!! Leaker travels for you both…

  3. Lyk my Sudan se mense en landskap is heeltemaal anders as Ethiopia? Bly julle lyk rustiger! Geniet die naweek. Luv. V1xx

  4. Sjoe, interessante kontras tussen die twee lande, was nogal verbaas dat Etihopië soveel meer ruig was! Julle het my amper aan die stres gehad toe ek die foto’s van die fietse sien! Ek is bly dat alles goed gegaan het daar by die grenspos, kan onthou julle was nogal bekommerd oor daardie ene. Wys net weereens dat mens sonder enige aannames sulke goed eintlik moet aanpak. Ook bly om te hoor dat die mense so vriendelik en behulpsaam is! Hoop julle reis na Khartoum gaan verder voorspoedig!
    Martin & Amelia

  5. And with its crisp, dry flavor and modest alcohol content, hard cider is a real crowd-pleaser. Beer, I was surprised to learn when I read the Journal a few weeks ago, is only appreciated by men. (Note to said men: My upcoming beer and beer-distilled whiskey party may have to be a female-only affair. Serves you right.) Cider, on the other hand, appeals to every palate, and is the perfect alternative for non-beer drinkers at barbeques, baseball games, and other such beery gatherings.

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