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Arrival in Sudan

I had a wonderful sleep on the ferry boat. Since we were crossing a lake there were no waves which could have caused nausea. I was hanging around on the upper deck with the Dutch motorbike traveller Lorenzo I previously met in Luxor and some of the other Western travellers I met the night before. I missed seeing the Abu Simbel temple which the boat was passing by at around 7:30am but I did not really care about it since I visited the temple a few days before. Lorenzo was showing me the pictures he has taken from the temple and it looked like that the boat went by pretty close.

At some point in time we had to hand our passports to some random guy. He did not wear any uniform but seemed somehow to be responsible for collecting the passports. We also needed to fill out some paper which was not so easy without having the passport and knowing the passport number and such. Tom, one of our drivers, had a passenger list with our passport numbers on from which I got mine. Later on it turned out that Tom did not have my correct passport number but had received the number of my second passport from the Dragoman office which is not the one I’m currently travelling with. So I screwed up some of the paperwork since my passport information became somewhat inconsistent. However, later at the border control nobody really noticed it.

Approx. 2-3 hours before arrival I observed that all passports were collected by a motor boat which probably brought them to Wadi Halfa for border control. When the ferry boat arrived at 11:30am in Wadi Halfa it took 2.5 more hours until we received our stamped passports back. People started to leave the ferry boat which was again a very crowded procedure. They also utilized our cabin to pass their luggage through the window. Border control was only at the exit of the ferry boat. There was one guy touching the passport (not really looking inside it) and another guy collecting one of the papers we had filled out (without checking them). We then jumped into a bus which brought us to customs. Here we needed to open and show our bags but the officers did not take any closer look inside. So probably it would have been possible to bring in some alcohol which is otherwise strictly forbidden.

Another minibus brought us to our hotel which is situated in the “city centre”. Probably larger village is a better description for Wadi Halfa since you can cross the “city centre” within 3-4 minutes walking. We climbed a little hill from which we had a nice view over Wadi Halfa. Later in the evening some of us had dinner in one of the local restaurants consisting of some chewy uneatable meat, tasty potatoes and bread. The remaining evening we were hanging around in the hotel and watched some shows such as “How I met your mother” and “Two and a half men” from one of our notebooks.

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