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Published: November 9th 2007
It took us ages to get onto the right road for Atbara. The eventual route was nothing akin to that shown on our maps. In fact a spanking new highway has been recently constructed across the desert more or less in a straight line from a point some 5 miles or so below the ferry crossing. When asking directions everyone was positive in saying “The road is just down there and you turn left”. It was and we did. And it was a superb road, sometimes a little difficult to follow because of sand being blown across. But the views otherwise were great, the colours even better and we made good time to Atbara.
Here we were again faced with no bridge but another, similar ferry. It was a long wait and it only took four vehicles and we were not at the front of the queue. We did some serious chatting up of anyone who would listen and in the end they squeezed 5 vehicles onto the ferry, quite apart from the cows, donkeys, donkey carts - and people.
The crossing was hilarious, especially when the ferryman tried to charge us double the fee only to be booed
down by the other locals who supported our challenge of the price. The man sheepishly rewrote his receipts for the correct price and honour was satisfied.
We drove south for about 15 - 25 miles and found a wonderful campsite in a small wadi with scattered acacia trees. The wind in the night really blew hard and we had to get up and secure the odd item we had left outside, not having expected the change.
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