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Khartoum to Wadi Halfa

May 10, 2013

 

After the monster day in the scorching heat and double engine change at the Blue Nile Sailing club, we crawled out of our tent at 06h30 having only turned in after midnight a few hours earlier. then a quick coffee and across Khartoum to the offices of our Wadi Halfa ferry and car barge FIXER who took our details and promised to mail it to the other FIXER (his brother) in Wadi Halfa and when we get to Wadi we should meet with him to get ourselves sorted. Well in principle this is how it should have worked.

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The next challenge was to exit the morning traffic of Khartoum and drive non stop to Wadi – only 982 kilometres – but of course this is through the full on sun baked Sahara desert! One thing in our favour was the road, it was a near perfect road with almost no serious undulations. so in spite of the enormous distance for our little 875cc Imp and the blazing sun we managed the trip in one run arriving at 02h00 in Wadi.of course we we also thoroughly enjoying the fruits of our previous day’s labour in that we were able to drive the car normally again with the clutch working perfectly again. (we still did not have second gear though, but this was AND STILL IS a selector problem.

Our Khartoum Fixer did make the journey a little easier for us in that he gave us six large and chilled bottles of water along with a block of ice with which we could keep our drinks cool in our cooler box. We were shocked to find that all through Africa we found it impossible to buy ice cubes with which we could keep our drinks cool with so this was a true luxury for us!

We had planned to stop off at a hotel in Dongola which was about half distance to have a shower and a good dinner. We did battle to find a hotel that could assist us with shower facilities but our luck was in again as we not only found a hotel with a shower with lovely hot water showers but they refused to accept money from us either. So clean as two new pins we tracked down a restaurant and we tucked in to some wonderful pizzas that filled us brim-full of energy for the onward journey.

I was keen to push on to arrive in Wadi Halfa even though it would mean a very late arrival but Geoff had wanted to camp wild in the desert for the night and carry on to Wadi in the morning. I was just too concerned about the fact that w still had no confirmation of a place on the ferry to Egypt nor the barge for our car which normally sails a couple of days apart. In fact the ferry for the Tuesday afternoon departure was already overbooked as well as the ferry for April 30th! this a week later was also overbooked! So we were actually looking down a long barrel and seriously worried puts my frame of mind very mildly.

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Geoff allowed me to forego our opportunity to camp out in the Sahara where we would surely have been able to see the southern skies as clear as ever one could with the complete absence of any light pollution.

Keeping in phone comms with Mazur, our Wadi Fixer, as we inched closer to Wadi, we finally arrived to be met with him at the entrance to the God forsaken dessert town, or was it a village! Just outside Mazur’s house where we spent a few hours resting, the Imp got stuck in the loose sand and Geoff had to call upon all his off-road driving skill to get us out without having to take out the spade and get to digging.

The four hours of sleep that we enjoyed got us partly back on even keel after a few very challenging days. but there was a mighty tough day ahead of us!

At 07h00 we headed into the town to prepare the paperwork for the transportation of the Imp to Egypt and the securing of passenger berths for Geoff and I. Began then another trying day hopefully never to be repeated!

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3 comments

  1. Great story and great ending when are you in Ireland and what part are you traveling to


    • hi Tom been and gone from ireland, visited friends and family in Cork and dublin. now in Bournemouth and london tonight back to South Africa Tomorrow.


    • hi Tom, remember me? I;m the crazy dude who drove my Hillman Imp across 3 continents to get to Ireland a few years back? well I have compiled and published a nice book with loats of photos to celebrate the trip. let me know if you would like a copy. Kind regards terence



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