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Author Topic: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline GravelFox

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Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2020, 03:43:15 pm »
Thanks for the report of travelling in Sudan. Was part of our 2018 trip but never realised...believe it is a barren country (and your pics confirm) but with very friendly and helpful people.


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Offline Sheepman

Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2020, 03:46:52 pm »
Lovely ! I follow your report in progress and appreciate the  added historic information of the areas which you visited  :thumleft:
 

Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2020, 04:20:27 pm »
Lekker!  Following with great interest.  :thumleft:
"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

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Offline Kartoem

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Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2020, 08:18:25 am »
.....We tried the GPS shortcut through the thorn bush back to the main road, but thorn bush was victorious and eventually strangled all our efforts. Unfortunately we were forced to back track our earlier much longer route. After a very warm hour or two we eventually reached the main road again and immediately headed south to Khartoum.

There were frequent police checkpoints that provided us with no problems and the traffic also dramatically increased as we reached the outskirts of Omdurman and Khartoum. Peak hour afternoon traffic in every African city, where the road infra structure is insufficient or non-existent, I soon discovered were best avoided on a motorcycle.

As the sun was setting, we crossed the Nile over a beautiful old girder bridge and into Khartoum proper. Once again T4A came through and took us like pros, through the chaotic traffic, straight to gates of the Blue Nile Sailing Club (BNSC) GPS 15°36'41”N 32°32'05”E),.

Image 1 - Temples Route
Image 2- The Route through Sudan
Image 3 - The Melik - Kitchner and Gordon's gun boat
Image 4 - The Melik
Image 5 - View from the Blue Nile Sailing Club
Image 6 - View on the Nile from the BNSC
Image 7 - Confluence of the Blue and White Nile
Obstacles is what you see when you take your eye of the goal
 

Offline Kartoem

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Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2020, 08:32:33 am »
KHARTOUM TO THE GALLABAT BORDER

We pitched our tents on the lawn in front of BNSC at dusk and saw the sun setting over the Nile. Never was a shower as refreshing or a cool drink as cold and sweet.
The focal point of the BNSC is Generals Gordon and then Kitchener’s gunboat the Melik. Being well over a century old, it was swept ashore by an exceptional flood in 1987 - an event that undoubtedly saved her from an ignominious end. Now, from its high perch on the banks of the Nile River it remains a nostalgic reminder Sudan earlier embattled history.

For two days we relaxed in the shade of the Melik and took in the sound and sights of Khartoum. We viewed the confluence of the Blue and White Nile to form the mighty Nile River from an amusement park restaurant downstream from our campsite.

It was time to move on once again after a pleasant stay at the BNSC. Heading south-east out of town through the more prosperous suburbs and shopping complexes lining the freeway it was not long before we left dusty, noisy Khartoum behind.

We continued our journey on toward Wad Medani where we crossed and said goodbye to the Blue Nile which I would not see again until Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.  By early afternoon we reached Gedaref where we refueled our vehicles. We were looking forward in completing the last 100kms to the border in good time for late afternoon border crossing into Ethiopia.

However, ones best plans are sometimes not good enough for Africa. Fifteen kilometers from the Ethiopian border at Mtema it started to rain. Unexpected and surreal - a cloudburst in Sudan! Approximately 10 km from the border we came to some road works with the main road south closed down. There was a kilometer long detour through the veld that was minutes before a dry riverbed. This was also to be my first dreadful acquaintance with black cotton soil.

Be warned; it is impossible to drive or push a motorcycle with knobblies and lowly mounted (read BMW GS) front mudguard through this type of mud. The mud sticks like glue to everything! The mud build up on the front tire ( commonly known as snowball effect) jams the tire against the front mudguard. The process to make ground I discovered was as follows:
1.   drive no more than 10 meters forward in mud – front wheel jams solid and bike and rider falls over.
2.    get screwdriver out and dislodge sufficient mud after 30 minutes to dislodge front wheel.
3.   unpack luggage and pick heavy bike up. Note that locals are not keen to assist in this type of mud.
4.   repack luggage and repeat process from start

Needless to say that after 2 hours I was dog tired, slippery dirty to the core and only halfway to the main road again. To complicate matters further, several trucks were stuck in front of me in the middle of the road.

My travel companions by this time bashed through the mud in Range Rover 4X4 mode and patiently waited for me on the other end with shouts of encouragement. Just as I was ready to spend the night next to road and wait for matters to improve, I found a small, but firmer passage on slightly higher ground. Oh joy ! I eventually got through within another hour. Man and machine dirty as never before.

It was already dark by the time we reached the border. Racing between dispersed buildings to get the necessary stamps in my passport and vehicle exit clearance remained as tricky and drawn out affair as the evening prayers which commendably took precedence. In pitch darkness (no electricity here) the gate eventually lifted and I rolled over the border into Ethiopia and looking forward to my first beer in weeks.

I found Sudan an unexpected highlight of my trip through Africa with some of the friendliest people in Africa. Nobody ever hassled me, while officials were polite and friendly. I always felt safe and never got the feeling that this is a country at war with itself. The country lends itself to off-road motorcycling and fantastic desert camping.

Image 1 - Road Map from Khartoum to Gedaref/Mtema border
Image 2 - My bike after its first clean post mud bath
Image 3 - A mud jammed front tire
Obstacles is what you see when you take your eye of the goal
 

Offline growweblaar

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Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2020, 12:26:30 pm »
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Offline Frikadel

Re: Sandy Shortcuts through Sudan
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2020, 02:15:38 pm »
Very nice RR, keep going and be safe mate :ricky:
Beer, bushveld and a braai!!