From Wadi Halfa to Khartoum it is 900km of desert cycling. Every kilometre there is a marker counting down the kms, physcological warfare.
The road is in good condition. Not much traffic and facilities are sparse.
The landscape was rocky with sandy dunes drifting as far as the eye could see, unforgiving for most of the journey.
This area of Sudan receives virtually no rainfall and the locals survive by living on a strip of habitable land that is no more than two kilometres wide along either side of the River Nile.
The most common meal I found on my journey to Khartoum was Ful. An uncomplicated meal of brown beans stewed in a large metal cauldron pot for hours on end. Sprinkled with spices, a squirt of oil and some bread it was bland and not very inspiring.
Falafel or as it is called in Sudan Taamiya can be found in some roadside establishments. Served in bread rolls without salad or yoghurt, I found it a bit dry but it was, once again, a safe option.
Being so hot in the desert, local water, pumped straight from the Nile can be found in clay pots every so often along the route. The locals drink this water, but with flies swimming or washing in the water I didn’t taste it. Sometimes I would wash or use this water to cool my head. Midday temperatures where off the scale and I would rest for a few hours each day in the shade.
From Wadi Halfa to Delgo the wind came at me from the side. From Delgo I had a tailwind like I’ve never experienced before. Some days I had ridden 100km before 11am. Sand was being blown across the road making it dangerous at times.
I met plenty of locals on the road and in the villages. Mining for gold and iron ore is big in this area of Sudan and you can see the prospectors hard at work from the roadside.
Before Sudan gained its Independence in 1956, Sudan was invaded, colonised and divided by the British. The imperialists named this region of Sudan the ‘country of metal’.
It took 8 days to reach Khartoum aided by a strong tailwind.
I camped, stayed at roadside restaurants, one hotel and slept a night at a police station.
At the police station, the cops were charging the inmates 20 sudan pounds per cigarette, a packet of ten cost 6sdp. I watched these interactions from my bed in the police compound.
I arrived in Khartoum via Omdurman. Traffic was horrendous for the last 15km into Khartoum proper. I stayed a night at the Blue Nile Sailing Club before moving on to the YHA which is cheaper and more people for company.