Were findIng it hard to leave Khartoum having been completly surprised by the city and what we’ve seen here. A diverse city that remains very safe and friendly. Unlike Egypt, people don’t rip you off for anything you buy. It seems to have everything. Good resturants, supermarkets, green spaces. There seems to be a lot of potential here. The American trade embargo doesn’t help further business potential here.

It is impossble to get money out here. No ATM’s accept visa cards so we’ve had to rely on our American dollars to get exchange. Highlights included seeing the Nuba wrestling and seeing where the White and Blue Nile converge to join the Nile.

Downtown has a colonial feel to it. Landcruisers belonging to Aid agencies drive around downtown going about their business. Tea ladies in colourfully dress find their space on the pavements serving tea from giant teapots. The main traffic intersection in downtown replicates the stripes on the Union jack. We were told that the Landrover defender was made for conditions in Sudan.

The hassle of paperwork to sort out permits has restricted us seeing more fo the country than we would have liked. Our base at the Blue Nile Sailing club was a very good insight to life in Khartoum. We had a entertaining stay here and one day during our stay the miltary did a exercise for the Sea Scouts who have their base next to the Sailing club. We were tasking it easy on a boat on the Nile and the next minute there was a helicopter above the river with people jumping out of it!

We took it easy there in the afternoons when it got too hot. Two young men who waterski here invited us back to their house for food on the second night. They were very good at explaining Khartoum and Sudan. We contiued seeing them whilst we were here.

The Landcruiser has had first service. We found the main Toyota garage here so we went in search of it. We had the engine oil and all the filters replaced. We were going to leave it till Addis Abeba, but we plan to head north after we cross the border to see the Simien Mountains and the  Danakil Depression before heading to the capital.