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CYCLING IN SUDAN: ITINERARY AND PICTURES OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

CYCLING IN SUDAN: ITINERARY AND PICTURES OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

On the boat coming from Assouan, I can see already how Sudan looks like and it’s how I imagined: a desertic land!
Cycling in Sudan is an amazing and extra ordinary experience, you are lost in the middle of no where but it’s also where you’ll find the most hospitable people!
The first kilometers are very tough: a vast barren area, where I only find dead animals, left behind from big cattle trucks. Sad company…

Imported goods from Egypt on the boat, to be sold in all the country’s markets, the top articles are fridges and washing machines!
Alone…

Dead animal left on the side of the road from a cattle truck…

Sand, rocks, stones… The silence… I just hear from time to time a truck honking with a warm hand waving out of the window!
I spend the night in a hut in the middle of nowhere… the 1st kind of building I find from the border… I’m actually surprised to see people in the hut, waiting for the bus, or just having a tea. The next village is not so far, 7km from the main road. And a bit further I’ll find a few ephemeral villages of gold diggers!

The guy from the hut trying to fix an old TV…
Gold digger
Gold digger
Gold digger

Then I reach the Nile and its strip of vegetation. It’s nice to see that there is some kinds of life here. Now villages will be closer to one another, I’ll be able to find some small restaurants on the way as well as families to host me.

some houses on the way
“El Beer” but no beer…
Green bee-eater close to the Nile
The Nile
Sunset on the Nile

Isla de Sai, Sudan

Sudanese hospitality

I decide to follow the Nile, to Karima, even if sometimes the road is a few kilometers away. On the way, I visit temples and pyramids, left alone in the desert.

Invited for lunch

Soleb temple

Soleb temple
Soleb at sunset
on the way to Sesi
View of the Nile from the hill in Sesi
Ruins of Sedeinga temple
Nile crossing
the garden city of Kerma!
Children with their fancy bikes!
Ruins of the old city of Kerma
Night in a lokhanda, basic sudanese hotel, where people usually sleep outside in the yard. Sometimes I have been turned away because a woman cannot share an open space to sleep with men

I arrive in Dongola, one of the biggest city between the border and Karima, then at Al Kandaq castle and the ruins of Old Dongola, a medieval town built as a fortress during the 5th century. It was then the capital of kings Makurian until the 17th century.

Shop in Sudan
Kawa temple, somewhere in the sand… but I won’t find it…
Women
View from Al Kandaq castle
Al Kandaq castle
Camping in Al Kandaq
Mosque in the middle of nowhere, from the distance, I thought it was a restaurant…
on the way to Old Dongola
Cemetery of Old Dongola
Ruins of Old Dongola
Ruins of a church in Old Dongola (7th century)
Fortress of Old Dongola
Wild camping in Old Dongola

The road follows the Nile but it does not look like, I’m still pedaling in the desert, with strong headwind. The countryside is stunning but very hostile.

A roadsign but no village around.. just sand!
and a few camels
a lonely tree…
wildcamping in the desert
Bus stop in Sudan..
hosted by a nice family in el Kurro, day off resting!
Cooking with the family
Sudanese food: ful, falafel, salad, bread, yogurt and crepes!

I arrive in Karima over heated but I’m happy to see the Jebel Barkal and its pyramids in front of me, as if it was a movie setting but no film maker. No tourists here, no fence, no guard.. I could even take the stones home!

Pyramids of Jebel Barkal, Karima
Pyramids of Karima
Sunset in Jebel Barkal
View from Jebel Barkal, Karima
Karima’s market, onion is found everywhere!
Village of Nuri
Pyramids of Nuri, close to Karima

From Karima, I cannot follow the Nile because the road is too sandy. I have to cross the desert to Atbara, 300km of nothing, no trees, no villages, just a few brave nomadic beduins living in poor conditions, with their few goats and camels.

Abandonned houses
Alone!
Beduins with their cattle walking in the middle of nowhere
Invited to stay over with the beduins!
Night in a beduins hut
In the middle of nowhere
Beduins hut
One of the only tree of the area to stop and have a rest from the sun and the heat!
Atbara market!!! Color, people, fruits and vegetables, good to see that after so long cycling in the desert!!

Before arriving in Khartoum, I stop at the famous pyramids of Meroe! The most ‘popular’ sight for tourists! But they don’t even receive tourists every day! It’s good to have the place for yourself, just me, the pyramids and sand!
I’m even able to sleep there and enjoy sunset and sunrise!
However, I’m desappointed I’m not able to reach Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra temples, the road is too sandy to cycle and it’s too far from the main road to push my heavy-loaded bicycle all the way and back…

Breakfast on the way
Sunrise in Meroe
Pyramids of Meroe
Cycling to Meroe
Méroe pyramids
Stop at a rest point on the road to Khartoum
Always friendly!

In the capital city Khartoum, I can rest and visit Omdurman souk. Sara’s family hosts me a couple of nights, I know Sara from Barcelona and it’s very nice to her!
I also have time to request my Ethiopian visa at the embassy.
I spend time to wander around Omdurman’s market, one of the biggest in Africa! I love markets and I could spend days lost there… I also enjoy seeing the derviche at the mosque on Friday.

Selling ice in Sudan… you’d better go fast if you want money… lol
Craftsmen waiting to be hired
Tea woman, Sudan
Hairdresser in Omdurman
Mosque at praying time, Omdurman
Derviches in Omdurman

The last days in Sudan are super hot, even at night when it is still 40 degrees C. I stop during the hottest time of the day, around lunch time. I left the Nile in Wad Madani. The road is still a bit busy here, as it’s the only road to Ethiopia, the next country I’ll be cycling in. I enjoy my last days in Sudan, I know Ethiopia will be very different…

Teahouses, truck drivers used to stop and rest here
Cycling in the heat..
Local restautant!
Local restaurant, good food and good rest
Village and where they keep the water
Camels
A beduin taking a picture of me, I don’t know who is more curious…
Puncture in the middle of nowhere…
Gedaref mosque, last city before Ethiopia
Last tea before crossing the border.. bye bye Sudan…

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