(Day 41) Day 2 of Leasure at Wadi Halfa – 10 May 2011
Distance for the day – 0 km
Odometer – 12 572 km
Hours on the Bike – 00:00
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 129 756.50
WADI HALFA HARBOUR.
In 1971 the Aswan High Dam was completed which resulted in a rise in water levels of Lake Nasser and the original Wadi Halfa was submerged.
Sudan’s military dictatorship forcibly removed the approximately 50,000 inhabitants of the area from their lands and relocated to the dessert, where many died of malaria and other diseases. A few Wadi Halfans, however, remain along the Nile, the river that built their ancestors’ identities as fishermen and river traders, building new settlements several times and finally settling on the current location when the flooding stopped. Seasonal flooding still occurs.
Alcohol is illegal in Sudan. All of the eateries around the main square serve tea, and Wadi Halfans, Egyptian tradesmen and tourists tend to gather there for a few cups to watch the world go by.
For most of the year, there are several hotels in Wadi Halfa, although after the rains, many close for repairs. All are similar, offering string beds, bucket showers, mud floors, a courtyard and clean rooms. In all the towns that we visited in Sudan, one thing stood out which was that many buildings are only half completed. They might have a foundation or built up to the first storey, with only a shell and some reinforcing steel sticking out. The level of craftsmanship leaves a lot to be desired and the finish and electrical work is poor. Many buildings are in use but do not even have a paint job done on them.
The Ferry from Aswan arrived yesterday and the town has suddenly filled with people. We met with some travelers going south and were informed that the trip down was not pleasant at all. The Bardge of the previous week did not run so things bottle necked this week and it was totally overloaded. They were just to glad to be on solid ground again after the long 17 hour trip of discomfort. We will go to the Port today at noon and the Ferry only leaves at 16:00. Magdi visited us yesterday and gave us our Passports with the famous Alien Sticker in it, so we are good to go.
The day was spent in the usual Wadi Halfa way, sleep, eat and wait.
We tackled Richard’s bike and rerouted a new wire from his battery to an external power socket. His GPS is now working again and he is as excited as a small child. His goal is to now to keep us up to date with the route for the remainder of the trip and guide us into the busy Cairo later.
We decided to go for a Nile swim/wash and ended up at the Port again. First they would not let us through but with some persistent nagging the officer reluctantly said 10 min, quick! And off we went.
Back at the Hotel, Chris who was a traveller from Zimbabwe, treated us to a team supper. Everybody chipped in and Linkie, the other South African, cooked us a nice “potjie”. Our hotel was now fully booked with people sleeping on the floor and in passage ways.