The ferry to Wadi Halfa was due to depart in the afternoon, but we first needed to complete all of the Egyptian border formalities at the port just south of the High Dam. We arrived at the port at 9am to start the customs check, get the carnet stamped, get our passports stamped and finally to drive the Landrover onto the barge which will take it into Sudan.
The barge is a separate boat to the passenger ferry and takes a few days longer, so once we had driven the Landrover onto the barge, we proceeded to the 2nd class area of the passenger ferry to the upper deck to meet fellow travellers and backpackers who were also heading south through Africa.
On board were 3 couples also driving 4x4s to Cape Town, Jack and Ryan that we met at the embassy in Cairo, along with 3 more backpackers and 6 cyclists. One of the cyclists from the UK was cycling to Cape Town to raise money for mosquito nets for Africans in the fight against Malaria. He told a story of how in Egypt had camped behind a mosque, and awoke the next morning to find himself bitten over 100 times in the face by mosquitoes leaving his face swollen so that he couldn’t see through one eye for a day. He had fallen to sleep not bothering to wear his mosquito net!
The night on board the ship was pretty crap. I didn’t take my sleeping bag on board and couldn’t get any sleep on the cold and windy deck of the ship, even when I tried to sleep inside a chest full of lifejackets, using them as both pillows and a duvet.
Early that morning though we passed the Abu Simbel site on the west bank of Lake Nasser, a site only accessible by an organised tour, but one we could view at best and for free from our ferry journey.
The disembarkation from the ferry was chaotic at best. The ferry had been loaded with tonnes of electrical goods that the Sudanese were buying in Egypt to take to Sudan, and the scramble off the ship, out of the port, onto a bus and finally into taxis was fraught with tussles past people carrying anything from big boxes of headphones to washing machines.
- David Jennings & Nathan Topham
- Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
- For the past 5 years, me and my best friend Nathan have talked about the possibility of travelling around the world by land and sea, and so finally we have a route, savings and time to set off around the world. What we are doing is living out a dream, a dream we share with many people worldwide, a dream of travelling this vast, diverse, beautiful and interesting planet, but unlike the many others who keep it as a dream, we have the tenacity to make this dream a reality.