|"And then, Michael had finally and suddenly arrived in Soda Heaven..."|
Friday: Rest Day in Khartoum
Surprise surprise, we both managed to sleep relatively late this morning, did the necessary, then went to the Hotel Restaurant for a mother of a breakfast buffet.
There is a Barber shop in the Hotel, so I decided to have a Number 0 haircut (shaved my head) as I am tired of trying to keep the sand out from my flowing locks. Yussaf the Barber took his time, and as a result I got my money's worth.
We walked to the Mall with Hanne, met some of the other riders and proceeded to have milk shakes and Ice-cream, and did some shopping for essentials at the Supermarket. Then tea/coffee at a Coffee Shop, followed by more ice-cream to eat while we walked back to Camp/Hotel.
On the way back to the Hotel, we were stopped by a local gentleman who insisted we joined him at his shop for some watermelon. So we sat down and had a pleasant time discussing current affairs with him. His English was good, since he had spent some time working for an American Company. It's the small things like this, that make this trip an eye-opener.
After traveling through Egypt & Sudan, the things we take for granted back in SA (such as visiting the Mall) suddenly take on an Alice in Wonderland experience. Suddenly there is ice-cream, milk shakes and cappuccino's in Khartoum! It feels like I am a child and I just walked into a toy shop!!
Bernd Beigl has rejoined us again, he crashed on one of the early stages, was hospitalized and underwent surgery to his face in Egypt, before flying back to Germany for reconstructive dental work. He flew back to Khartoum, and it is great to have him back with us.
At 5.30 pm we all met up and went off in taxis to the private house of Ed, who is at the Canadian Consulate in Khartoum, where he and a bunch of his selected guests, hosted the full TDA Team (Riders & Management) for dinner.
It was a grand affair, we were entertained by good music and dancing by a group of local Sudanese musicians and dancers. While dinner (starters, main course, and pudding) was out of this world, and appreciated by all concerned.
Back to the Hotel to pack our permanent & daily bags, we also took out our MTB tires from our permanent bags, we will be exchanging our slick tires for knobbly tires sometime during this coming leg (will be riding on dirt/gravel roads soon).
It's been a great rest day for the both of us.
|Walking with Hanne to the Mall|
|Deserted streets of Khartoum- At prayer time|
|Khartoum Bank architecture|
|Arriving at the Local Mall|
|Decision time - Milkshakes, Ice Cream or Shopping?|
|Rob at one of the Chicken Franchise's|
|Ice Cream Heaven|
|Decisions, decisions and more decisions!|
|Michael giving Kyle a little taste of his Ice Cream|
|Chicken wings available in the Supermarket|
|The Al Waha Mall Office Block|
|Examples of downtown Khartoum Offices|
|Another downtown Khartoum Office building|
|Having watermelon with a local Sudanese gentleman, en route back to the Hotel|
|Tomorrow's Stage 19|
|The next leg of the tour: from Khartoum to the Ethiopian Border|
|Bernd Beigl (Germany) has rejoined us after his unfortunate crash in Egypt.|
|Muzz, Gurpaul & Julian dressed in local garb for tonight's dinner, being photo bombed by yours truly.|
|The coffee making process at dinner|
|Michael & Judith at Ed's dinner party|
|Helping ourselves to main course|
|Local Musicians and Dancers at the dinner party|
|Muzz teaching the local Sudanese Dancer some new moves|
|Philip loves making new friends where ever he goes|
|I think Charles enjoys my new haircut|