150km – Wadi Halfa to Nile Camp near Falukah.
The call to prayer this morning was just as loud in Sudan as in Egypt. But now, we also have our official Tour trucks that play music in the morning! They did not join us in Egypy in case there were problems in Sudan but since the election went fairly smoothly, we are all united again. A chorus of Happy Birthday also rang out from people’s tents to celebrate Daniel’s 26th. This was a change from the normal morning song of Peter the Poet or the giggles of the girls, Tori and Carrie.
After the ferry crossing, it was nice to get back into the normal riding routine of packing up the tent, daily bag, eating porridge and bananas, making my pb and honey sandwhich, enjoying a cup of tea, and then packing everything in the locker. I set off at first light and enjoyed the first 25km or so alone – a good time to settle into the body and mind. Just when I’ve had enough, a fun group melds and we ride the rest of the day to lunch of fresh, thick pita (more yummy than Egyptian pita).
Riding in Sudan = AWESOME! I never thought I would say so, but Thank You to the Chinese for building an incredibly smooth, straight road in the last two years. Its newness and the limited traffic (2 cars, 5 busses, and 2 taxi busses all day) mean that it is smooth, easy riding.
After lunch, I rode a bit with Christina and Patrick before picking up with the Happy Ol’ Men, Team Grandpa group. We enjoyed an awesome tailwind (I was maxed on gears and peddaled as fast as I could to keep up) all the way to our Nile Camp and a refreshing swim! It felt so good to wash body and clothes after several days of babywipes. The Nile was cool and picturesque as we sat in the shallows surrounded by reeds and rocks (just never mind the cobra spotted by one friend). A cup of tea enticed as back to camp where the town’s children came out, walking amongst our tent village asking for Bic Pens. Three kids gathered around my tent as I was transfering photos to a computer (yet to be uploaded though), and they enjoyed looking at the screen. After a welcome yoga session, delicious dinner (the cooks are incredibly talented), informative Sudan country brief, it was time for bed – 7:30pm – another late night on TdA!