Day16 - Stage 14 - Nile Ferry Camp to Dongola (116 km)

Saturday: Nile Ferry Camp to Dongola (116 km)

We slept much better last night, Judith had pitched the tent behind a mud wall, which had screened the tent from the incessant wind (we are also getting used to the noise of a flapping tent).

Today's ride was all about wind, wind and more wind. Started riding with a potent tail wind from the north, which assisted our average speed and made the undulating road feel relatively flat. However, when we either turned East or West, there were times where it became a roaring, dust bearing, sand storm, which obliterated the view of the rider in front of you. Fortunately, we only had one instance (near the end of the ride) where we turned into a direct headwind, which caused you to cycle at a snail pace.

Assistant Chef Muli organising the mornings boiled eggs (Between the boiled eggs and beans I am getting plenty of turbo boost on the bike)

The local tea & coffee maker preparing our brews

Henne enjoying the morning sunrise
After leaving Camp, we stopped at the 20km mark for tea & coffee at a Truck Stop (Sudanese version of a 1-Stop Shop). We think no other riders stopped there, since it was so early in the ride, but we had decided to tour today, and enjoy the ride (did buy tea for Helen, today's first-half sweep rider who was forced to stop with us).

Judith spots her first Nile Crocodile  (Don't ask why its up there, its only on a need to know basis, and we don't need to know)

Michael & Judith enjoying their morning tea & coffee at the Sudanese 1-Stop Shop

Taking a short rest

When we got to the Lunch Truck, it was deserted, none of the usual riders were there, due to the fact that all concerned wanted to get to Dongola as quick as possible, since tomorrow was a rest day.

We stopped at a Coke Stop at 90km for ablutions and soft drinks accompanied by Gupaul, Andy and sweep rider Max, before completing the remaining 25km.

Arriving at today's lunch stop

Lunch Truck deserted of riders only T D A Management in attendance
Stopping at the Coke Stop

Judith making new friends and modeling her new pink cycling gear with the locals
Gupaul, Andy and sweep rider Max enjoying the rest & recuperation 

Crossed over the Nile River (it is still very impressive) arrived in Dongola and were immediately swamped by the Traffic, consisting mainly of Tuk-Tuk's, it was  organised chaos! Judith even had to try and out cycle a large dog which some idiot had set on her! "Who let the dogs out, woof, woof-woof!".

Arrived at the finish which is situated at a type of Luna Park, where some of the riders were already  camping in the Fairground. We hailed a Tuk-Tuk (one each because we had both our daily and permanent bags with us) and went to The Palace Hotel. Supposed to be Dongola's finest, but it leaves much to be desired. But at least the water is hot, there is power to charge the electronics and there is a bed.

After booking in, Andy and I hailed a Tuk-Tuk and went to the nearest "Super-market"  and bought soft drinks, crisps, chocolate and biscuits. Back at the Hotel I proceeded to binge on the sugar rich treats, life is great!

Crossing the Nile River Bridge into Dongola
Welcome to Dongola!

TDA Staff setting up the kitchen facilities
Fairground attraction - with our bikes chained to the railings

Off on a Tuk-Tuk to the Palace Hotel!

View from our balcony at the Palace Hotel
In the evening, six of us took two Tuk-Tuk's and went out to a local Sudanese Eating House for dinner. Half a chicken, with rice & local bread each, followed by Sudanese pastries and sweet spearmint tea. The quality of the food was great, which was later  confirmed when the complete TDA Crew arrived for dinner as well (they always know where the best meals are to be had).

We still rode 115km today, so it was early to bed, with no thoughts of going out clubbing in bustling Dongola ;)

Mike T

Eating at a local Eating House with Nelson, Philip, Judith, Andy & Mark

Sudanese pastries to Judith's delight

Had my first beer in Sudan  (0 % alcohol)

Internet Surfers Henne, Paul back at the Hotel