Sunday, 1 February 2009

Sudan (سودان ‎), Khartoum

After a week absence from modern technology we are now in Khartoum. During the last week we have traveled through the north of Sudan and got an idea how big this country is. Most fascinating is that life just exists along the Nile. From ancient cultures to modern civilization. The northern part of Sudan is still very simple. The infrastructure (roads, communication, water..) is still very basic. Nowadays there are a lot of projects going on in cooperation with the Chinese government. Sudan sells oil to China and gets in reward credit and infrastructure projects. The good thing is that the roads get paved to the north. We had already a 12 hour ride on a dust road through the dessert. The bus broke down, nearly got stuck in the sand and overloaded with goods.

Accommodation in Sudan is also very basic. Simple beds and common sanitary but that is OK for us. Just in Khartoum prices are ridiculous high. But we don't want to complain because the people here are so friendly and nice. Everyone seems to be happy that we visit Sudan and many are trying to talk with us. Unfortunately not all speak English but we also lack in Arabic.

In Karima, a little village at Jebel Bakal, an ancient culture site with pyramids, we have met a group of students on an excursion. They have been so lovely and invited us for coffee and we took a lot of pictures with them. In this group was also Hassam, a journalist from Khartoum. He took very good care of us and helped us to find a hotel. We had to ask in over 10 different places because all where full. There is a fair going on and all "cheap" places have been sold out. Hassam also invited us to his newspaper and at the opening ceremony of the fair. Politicians, local artists and a firework - all in a colorful mix with the audience.

Yesterday we managed to get our visas for the next country: Ethiopia. We will leave Khartoum tomorrow and take the bus to the border. Of course we have to switch buses, don't know the time table and probably get lost in transit again. Public transport runs here on best effort basis. A time table doesn't mean anything and its always helpful to add a few extra hours to a journey because of interruptions like: praying, eating, fixing the bus, praying again and finally finding yourself alone without connections at the terminal stop.

Edith and Walter are doing well. Especially Edith is now used to travel life and takes also some discomfort with a smile. Walter has also everything under control and I haven't been arrested yet. That's a good basis for our next round trip in Ethiopia.


Will said...

Hi Richard, hope you manage to stay un-arrested! ;-)

dua said...

hi ihr lieben,

schön, dass es euch gut geht.
verucht auch weiterhin nicht eingesperrt zu werden;)))...ja ja richard *grins
@edith: think pink :)
@walter: so kenn ich dich ja gar net...has everything under control.... *fg*
andrea + kids

Richard said...

Seems I still have luck. Today I had an incident with the police at a bridge. In Sudan it's forbidden to take pictures from bridges, military facilities etc. I was looking for a good place to take a photo of the confluence of the blue and white Nile. I found a very nice place to take a photo "under" a big bridge. Suddenly someone shouted and some guys showed up and busted me. They wanted my camera and searched my bag. I didn't agree to the idea giving some police guys my camera and started a discussion. Luckily they got distracted by a spectator of the scene and started beating him with a bamboo stick. Leaving the police busy I've managed to sneak away and walked back to the hotel through the woods.

Anonymous said...

Hi richi!

Bitte keine Streit mit den lokalen Behörden / Angestellten von Fluglinien!! Denk an den Kosovo oder Moskau ;-)

LG Erwin

Anonymous said...

Hallo Ihr Lieben!

Freut mich, dass Ihr noch gesund und munter seid und so viel erlebt!

@Edith: Vielen Dank für Deinen tollen Reisebericht per Mail. Wir haben uns koestlich über Deinen Schreibstil amuesiert - wirklich genial ("...alle wollen Bakschisch - du bist im Tempelgelaende und schaust herum, da kommt einer zeigt auf eine Saeule und haelt die Hand auf ...") --> jaja, so isses; hat mich an unseren Tunesienurlaub erinnert.

@Richard: lass Dir ja nicht die Kamera konfiszieren - wir wollen weiterhin so tolle Fotos sehen!

Hier in Österreich scheint erstmals seit ein paar Tagen wieder die Sonne! Da kommen schon richtige Frühlingsgefühle auf, etwas kalt ist es zwar noch, aber Hauptsache, die Sonne scheint! Am Kaiser-Josef-Platz werden schon fleissig Hyazinthen usw. verkauft. Trotzdem beneide ich Euch sehr! Passt weiterhin auf Euch auf und berichtet uns!

Bussi - Johanna