(English and photographs below)
Ek het nog ‘n hele klompie dae se ry voor Soedan verby is. Maar weereens het hierdie omstrede land nie teleurgestel nie. Die gasvryheid van die mense in die noorde van die land is eenvoudig net ongelooflik. Geen woord or geen foto kan werklik reg laat geskied aan daardie wonderlike mense nie.
Die nuwe pad tussen Wadi Halfa en Khartoem het een voordeel: Minder mense jaag nou deur die klein woestyndorpies. Die wat wel die woestynpad bo die nuwe pad verkies, word met indrukke en ervarings beloon wat hy in sy hele lewe nooit sal vergeet nie.
Toe ek gisteraand die KLR in Khartoem gestop het, die fiets vuil, vol stof en strepe, en my hare en ore vol sand en stof, my oë brandend van die stof, toe het ek geweet hoekom mens so ‘n reis aanpak. Dis in jou, jy kan nie dit aan iemand anders verduidelik nie. Miskien doen die foto’s die verduideliking beter.
I still have a few days’ riding in Sudan before me. Once again this country, branded by many as an enemy country, has not disappointed. The hospitality of the people in the north was legendary. No writing or no photograph can really do justice to those wonderful people living such a hard life.
The new road between Wadi Halfa and Khartoum has one huge advantage. The many tourists racing through the small Nubian villages have disappeared. They are on the new road now. Those few still using the old track get rewarded with so many wonderful experiences and encounters, that compensate for the slower travel and dirt.
As I switched off the KLR in Khartoum last night, the bike dirty as seldom before, my hair and ears full sand and dust, my eyes burning from the dust, at that moment I knew why one does such a journey. One cannot explain that to an outsider. Perhaps the few photographs do the explanation better.
Now, I didn’t tow the bed along. The Nubian people offer to the traveller they like like such a bed for the night. Sleeping under palm trees next to the Nile on such a bed changes your life for ever.
It was the third time that I spent a night with these wonderful people. The old man lost sight in his right eye this year. He became even thinner since I saw him the last time.
Early morning chai tea with the Nubian people on their beds that stand in their courtyard.
Where there is water and tea available in the Nubian desert the drivers park their vehicles with the noses into the wind, bonnets open for the engines to cool off.
Gister moes ek 530 km ry. Ek het by Abu Dom gekom, en al drie “vulstasies” was leeg. Daar was net een ander moontlikheid 104 km suid van daar. Ek het die kans gewaag en soontoe gery, gereed om daar ‘n paar dae te sit as daar geen brandstof was nie. Toe kom ek by die rooi pomp in die sand, en daar was petrol!
Yesterday I had 530 km to cover. I got to Abu Dom, and all three “filling stations” were empty. The only other possibility was 104 km to the south. I was prepared to gamble, and if there was no fuel I was prepared to sit a few days, waiting for fuels. Then I got to the red pump in the sand, and there was fuel!