Green lawn at the Nubia Guesthouse, Karima, Sudan (2012-07)

Travelling Sudan, pt. 5: …is a game of tennis


Yesterday I had found a little oasis in the Sahara desert: the Nubian Rest House in Karima. 

We get up before dawn to start our sightseeing program. Jerbel Barkal is right outside the hotel gate. As we walk around the mountain we find remnants of an old temple, in the distance more pyramids can be seen. After an hour a guard shows up and demands we pay the entrance fee. In exchange we get to enter the temple and see impressive murals on the walls. To think that these are not only hundreds but thousands of years old. Unfathomable!

After a lush breakfast we hop on a tuk-tuk to go to the Nile river.
The steamer graveyard is not meant to be a public attraction.

Somehow I still manage to sneak by the guards and take a couple of snaps. I reconnect with my travel companion by a little kindergarten. When the teacher sees us she invites us in and proudly shows us around. This is what I love about Africa: the kindergarten was set up by the moms. They take turns watching and teaching the kids so the others can go work.

It’s barely 11 when we return to the hotel. Time to bunker up! But before there is one little thing to organize: it’s July 8, the day of the 2012 Wimbledon final and a day for history – either Roger Federer ties Pete Sampras for a 7th title or Andy Murray will be the first Brit to reign SW19 in 74 years. There’s no internet here and no telly on the room. So we ask our host for the nearest satellite TV. He apologizes that there is no TV or internet but promises a solution.

A few hours later we find ourselves in front of a squeaky fan, on camping chairs in the staff quarters. Watching the All England Championship final.

Poor Murray doesn’t stand a chance against Federer.

We enjoy another night in paradise before moving on to Wadi Halfa. Midhat Mahir’s brother Mazar greets us at the bus stop and invites us to stay at his house. When we get there the African Trails truck parked outside brings up many memories. So it’s only fitting that Mazar’s house has barely any walls and our beds are made under the stars.

Getting on the ferry turns out to be hard work. Mazar is running back and forth. That gives us some time to meet Ion and Ana that have just done almost the same tour I did – on a motorcycle. Midhat couldn’t find us a cabin after all. So as the sun sets we find ourselves fighting for a seat on the ferry. Out of Sudan.

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