The journey

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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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Days 45 & 46: Sudan

Day 45

The plan in Khartoum was to try and fix the Landrover, but after searching the internet we couldn’t find any parts dealers in Sudan. Needing to look at the problem ourselves we decided to take one of the wheels off to get better access to the rear suspension, but the wheel nut spanner was old and simply bent as we tried to release the nuts.

We then took a walk into the city centre to find a new spanner for the job, and after asking in one garage, he directed us to the industrial part of the city where there was one Landrover parts shop. Sadly they didn’t sell the bushes and washes required for the suspension fix, and so we thought the best thing to do was to wait until we reached Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

That evening in the Blue Nile Sailing Club we saw another Landrover parked next to ours. It was a Series I, which we guessed was over 40 years old and we got chatting to the owner Beverly (male not female) who was from the UK and travelling around Africa having sold his house. This guy was quintessentially English, and we initially thought that he must be ex-military (even nicknaming him The Brigadier), but he was an electrician from Derbyshire.

That night a few other people who were camping had told us there was a talent competition at a local Italian restaurant, and so I took along my acoustic guitar from the Landrover. Some of the talent on show was shockingly poor, but even my rendition of Cannonball by Damien Grey was not good enough to beat a local rapper who sang about his love for Sudan being similar to his love for women. After the talent content the night was rounded off by two local bands who performed some Sudanese rock music.

Day 46

After another unsuccessful look for parts for the Landrover, we returned to wash the Landrover for the first time of the trip, and the brown bodywork was once again returned to it’s former blue colour.

We drove out to where the Blue Nile meets the White Nile to see the difference of the colour as they meet. It was interesting to see, but not as spectacular as people had made out, the Blue Bile looked blue, whilst the White Nile looked as brown as the Landrover before we washed it. We returned to the camp and sat down with the brigadier who was telling us of his trip and route through Africa, picking up some very helpful information on where to stay and which roads to take.

It was our last night in Khartoum, and the Blue Nile Sailing Club had a music night with more local bands on. Two of the Swedish cyclists who were on the ferry had just arrived and I sat down listening to the music whilst they told me of their journey from Wadi Halfa. After only 20km they had punctured two tyres, been involved in a road accident and then damaged the rear hub of one of the bikes, getting the bus to Khartoum where they could get replacement parts (which we eventually heard cost over €2000/£1900!).

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