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Published: February 22nd 2012
We got an early morning bus to Karima. Unlike our previous journeys, this was a proper coach with air conditioning. Although, with blaring loud Sudanese music. The journey was only 2 hours and we arrived in Karima at around lunchtime.
I immediately preferred Karima to the other places in Sudan we had been. It is much more of a sleepy, dusty town with all the buildings painted in white and bright colours. The people were also exceptionally friendly to us. We checked in at Al Nasser Hotel and like Dongola, were required to register our stay at the police station. This was done easily enough, even if we woke up the official who was asleep on a bed in his office.
We then went to check out the site of Jebel Barkal, close to the town. Jebel Barkal is a mountain, which was believed to have been the throne of the God of Amun. There are the ruins of a couple of temples at the base of it on one side. On the other there are Pyramids, still really well preserved. They weren't as grand as Giza, but we had them to ourselves to explore. We also climbed up
the mountain which gave spectacular views of the above ruins, the Nile on one side and the desert on the other.
Later we found out there was a football match on at the local stadium, so we went along. The match was between Karima and Nuri, their nearby neighbours in the Sudanese First Division (I think). Unfortunately, we arrived 10 minutes late and Nuri were already 2-0 up. This was how the match finished, but we did witness one red card and Nubian version of crowd trouble.
For dinner we were given a goat's hoof with some jelly like meat attached, as well as a bowl of fuul. The goat's hoof was interesting, if not the most tasty. But the fuul was the best I had had on my travels. We decided to ask around to see if there was any shisha available, despite having no joy in Dongola and were directed to this off-street place where we got one each.
The next day we got a minibus to Merowe and then another one to Nuri to see the remains of another set of pyramids. These weren't nearly as well proposed and some were being reclaimed by
the desert. Again we were all alone visiting these. The village beside the pyramids was truly rural and while it's hard to say anywhere is on the beaten track in Sudan, this is off it. Back in Karima, we managed to get another great feed of a a half chicken each. I had been expecting the worst with the food in Sudan, but have been pleasantly surprised, so far.......
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