Glad to get out of Khartoum, we left the campsite without paying as no-one was ever there to take any money from us during our stay despite us constantly asking who we are supposed to pay. Trying to find the way towards Ethiopia was tricky with no road signs at all (not even in Arabic) and so finding the way through asking local people was like trying to play a game of ‘hot or cold’.
After stopping to ask directions in Wad Medani, a local who could speak English said he would show us the way if he could get a lift as his house was on the way. His house was in a small village just outside Wad Medani on the main road to Gedaref, and when we dropped him off he invited us into his house for a drink of tea, and even offered us the use of his bath or the guest bedroom if we wanted to have a quick afternoon nap! This for us summed up the general kindness and hospitality of the brilliant Sudanese people.
We wanted to get on the road again and get to Gedaref so that we would be close to the Ethiopian border the following morning. Once we had arrived in Gedaref, Nathan was reading a guide book which stated that visas could not be attained at the Gallabat border, and after checking on the internet we realised it was correct. We would have to return to Khartoum to visit the Sudanese Embassy.
We didn’t relish the though of returning to Khartoum, but it had to be done. We knew that getting the visa would take a day, and that we would really need to get the rear suspension fixed – even with a bodge – as it was getting worse and worse. We set off early and arrived in Khartoum after midday, arriving at the Ethiopian Embassy to find that like all embassies it was shut for the afternoon.
We thought that might be the case, but knew we still had one day before the Muslim weekend in which we could obtain a visa, and the guards at the gate informed us it would only take two hours.
The next job was to find a hotel (as honest as we normally are, we didn’t want to return to the Blue Nile Sailing Club to pick up the bill) and to get the Landrover fixed. Returning to the Industrial Area we stumbled across four more Landrover spare shops, and found a guy who said he would be able to fix it the next day after we had obtained our Ethiopian visas.
- 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.