Getting out from mud fields and the border

Due to personal issues Johnny went back for 10 days to the UK and we agreed to drive further with Terri and cross Ethiopian Border together (As I already said, it was nice to drive with someone for  a change). We were a little bit worried about entering into Ethiopia as few days before their Prime Minister died and they had national mourning. Terri and Johnny already had lots of problems with getting Ethiopian visas in Khartoum, so we thought that at the border the officials would get problems with letting us into the country. Anyway, Terri and us left Khartoum and in one long day we almost reached Ethiopia. We decided to bush camp 10 km from the border as in North Sudan wild camping was generally amazing and peaceful. We left the tarred road and followed a narrow, but hard bitten track (into the bush). We didn’t go far, we just needed to be invisible from the main road. In the middle of the night it started raining again and when we woke up we discovered that we were in the middle of mud fields! We still could see our tracks from yesterday, but unfortunately our joy didn’t last long. Suddenly, as we were preparing to leave, a giant herd of cows let by the herd man passed us by causing that not only our tracks were gone, but also the road changed into muddy mash. Well…we didn’t have much time to wait till all would dry so we decided to drive. Terri drove off, slightly smashing her car and we of course got stuck – at the end of mashy road. It was impossible to get from there  without help.We were digging and digging… even some local people started coming  and helping us , but it was still not enough strength to push Rusty from mud. Terri drove back to the nearest village and asked for help. She came back with some guy with land-rover, who finally pulled us out for 50 SP! After 3 or more hours Rusty was rescued and we could continue to drive to the border (Qallabat border).

At the border  – Sudanese side

In comparison to borders we already had it was no that bad! It was time consuming, but it wasn’t painful. We needed to wait to get our carnet stamped out as the guy had problems with finding his stamp. While Charlie was dealing with the car papers,  I was watching Rusty and coping with bunch of guys who wanted to exchange Sudanese currency into Ethiopian Birrs  at very bad rate.  Then we needed to go to Immigration building and fill the exit forms. Unfortunately , they didn’t have pens and I needed to come back to Rusty to take some.  On the the Sudanese side the procedure of leaving the country took an hour.

Moreover, that border was rather small and it reminded me of  „Sunday Market”, where you can buy basically everything. Charlie bought a kettle for 2 SD (!),  flip flops for me as my previous ones drowned at the campsite in Khartoum and some weird, Ethiopian bread made of sourdough (Ethiopian food will be better described letter:P)

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Categories: Sudan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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