326 km, 10024 km from Cape Town
Having our passports back meant we didn’t have to delay in Khartoum and could continue with the journey. We spent a couple of hours changing some dollars to the local currency (there are no ATMs and no cell phone reception in Sudan), and then rode around this large busy city looking for the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, the start of the great river that we’re set to follow for the rest of our journey. Eventually we left Khartoum at about 12, heading for Atbara, and soon discovered that North of Khartoum, it is all desert and heat! Luckily on this stretch of the road there were quite a few little villiages, and we became experts at the little shops that have a fridge, and the electricity to drive it! All along the road there are large earthenware vats of water for the weary travellers, but our feeble tourist stomachs were no match for the tepid fetid water they hold. At Atbara we stayed at the Blue Nile hotel, which is neither blue nor on the nile. The rooms also don’t have windows proper ablutions or aircon, but again the local staff were so eager to help that it made up for the dismal accomodation. Dinner was again at a local street eatery, chicken again.