This day was supposed to be a driving day from the Sudan Red Sea Resort close to Port Sudan back to Atbara. Driving day means that no activities were planned for this day except for covering a large distance which more or less takes all day.
We left the resort at 9am and stopped for 45 minutes at Port Sudan to shop for food to prepare lunch, dinner and breakfast the next day. Since I was not up for cooking I just wandered around the market for a bit.
I killed the travel time to Atbara by watching the changing landscape out of the trucks window and by starting to read the book “Daemon” which was recommended to me by my IT-loving friend Daniel. This science fiction story about a computer program running without direct human influence only triggered by internet news and other events is kind of interesting. The frightening aspect is that today’s technology is already advanced in a way that this story could become true.
Our long drive was only interrupted by a quick lunch stop were we prepared sandwiches with canned tuna and by several check points and a police registration along the way. Here you need to know that we’re not allowed to freely travel around the country after we passed border control. Instead we are only allowed to drive straight from the border in Wadi Halfa to the capital Khartoum. For all travel outside of this route a special permit is required as we needed to obtain one for our travel to Port Sudan. Furthermore, there is a checkpoint every 100 kilometres or so where we need to stop and check-in. Depending on the mood of the police these checks are sometimes very quick and sometimes they want to kill time and therefore having a detailed look in our truck and / or our passports. In addition we’re also requested to register with the police in every major city especially when we plan to stay in the region overnight. Lastly, we need to register once we reached Khartoum which costs 45 USD per person. Luckily our local guide Nasser exactly knows when and where we need to register which is not always obvious and he also takes an active role in this process.
When we registered with the police in Atbara they told us that we’re only allowed to bush camp next to a house so we found one shortly after passing the city. Today’s cook group prepared a large pot of chicken soup for dinner which was very delicious.