Day 13 - Stage 11 - Abu Simbel to Wadi Halfa

Wednesday: Last day in Egypt, up early, pack bags, load them on the big truck, breakfast at 5.15am, ready to ride 2km to Ferry Landing by 6am.

Rode in convoy to the Ferry Landing and after a mandatory wait, boarded the Military Ferry with our bikes, accompanied by the TDA Vehicles, our Police escort and other Egyptian Long-haul Trucks traveling to Sudan.

Pleasant trip across Lake Nasser to the western side, we even got to drink tea with some of the Egyptian Truck Drivers, had a pleasant discussion with a Professor Ali and his guys, who were crossing over to do some ground water prospecting. Generally a very jovial trip and all the riders were in great spirits and there was much excitement in the air for our first Border crossing.

Once we had arrived on the other bank of the Lake, the TDA Cyclists waited for all the trucks and vehicles to drive off the Ferry before we disembarked. However we were still in Egypt, we needed to cycle 35 km to the Egypt-Sudan Border Crossing.

Cycled to the Egypt/Sudan Border Post, but not before both Kyle (RSA) and Andy (RSA) had to repair punctures on their respective bikes. Kyle had two for the day (one before the ferry and one after).

Surprisingly, we cleared  Egyptian Immigration with relative ease, then had lunch on the Egyptian side, bid our Egyptian Police escort a fond farewell (they had been a permanent fixture throughout our cycle in Egypt) before crossing no-man's-land into Sudan.

One of the heavily loaded trucks seen at the border crossing from Egypt to Sudan.
- Photo taken by one of our fellow TDA riders, Alex.

Our passage through the Sudan Immigration was not as painless as our Egyptian experience, but the riders were determined to stay as relaxed as possible. It always pays to remember T.I.A (This Is Africa). After much waiting, we were finally processed, only to be told that they wanted to search our bike bags/hydration packs.

This developed into quite a hilarious pantomime, as each rider got to describe to the overzealous custom official's, what was in his/her bag, and what its function was. I think Liz's rendition of how to use a set of plastic tire levers to change a flat tire, deserves an Oscar!

After we had all shown the officials the contents of our bags, and been given our little red stickers, the Head Customs Honcho, then demanded that they check our Daily/Permanent bags on the truck.

The TDA Management are to be congratulated on how they solved this new development. Our capable Tour Leader Tallis, just gave The Main Man an emphatic,

"No!! - If you needed to search the luggage, you should have told us that two hours ago". 

The best form of defense is attack, and this did the trick. 
The Official rescinded, and waved us all through. We were officially in Sudan - T.I.A !!

We cycled another 35 km after the Border Post, and arrived in the Town of Wadi Halfa. Pitched tent and found the Currency "Guy" to exchange USD $ into Sudanese Pounds, so that we could then go to the Sim Card "Guy" to purchase data sim-cards, so that we could get onto the Sudanese Network. 

Unfortunately, while the signal here in Wadi Halfa is good enough to send through these words you're reading... it's not great when sending or posting pictures. So those will have to be sent through in a future post (sorry everyone!). I will just have to keep you in suspense I suppose. [They're up! You can now see the photos form today's adventure - here.]

Supper was prepared by a local Sudanese family, and was very tasty indeed, this was followed by a cold shower and then off to bed after a very busy day.

Mike T

PS - So started my 17 day beer free diet, should loose a couple of kilo's over this time period.


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