First Days in Khartoum

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Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum
February 19th 2012
Published: February 22nd 2012
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We had to get up at 6.30 a.m. to get our bus to Khartoum at 7. The bus didn't end up leaving until around 8ish but got bought some tea by the guy in charge as we waited. The coach was another proper one with air conditioning, but again with blaring Sudanese music. The speaker system must be new as music was pumping throughout the bus.

We arrived in Khartoum at about 2 p.m. and got in touch with our couchsurfing host, Gareth. We went back to his flat and chilled out for the afternoon after not getting much sleep on the coach. Later, we got in touch with Nathan and Rien who we had met on the ferry to Wadi Halfa and were still in Khartoum. They happened to be staying near us, so we met them for some dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant nearby. If that is the standard of food in Ethiopia, I'm looking forward to it!

The next day, we headed into Downtown Khartoum. We were running low on Sudanese money and as you are unable to withdraw money from Sudanese ATMs with international bank cards, we went in search of a money changer. As the rates are significantly better on the black market than from the banks we agreed to change some money with this guy who brought us up to some dodgy office to complete the transaction. Except for getting it all in a wad of 5 SDG notes, it worked out fine.

We then headed up to Nile St and towards the bridge over to Tuti Island. As we were crossing over a group of young lads saw us and started chanting 'U-S-A, U-S-A!' We signalled to them to stop and tried to tell them where we were from and they just smiled and shook our hands. The area around the bridge seems to be where all the younger people hang out and they seem quite liberal, girls' hair showing , couples holding hands etc.

We walked through the island, which was a bit like walking back through time. The village was made of all mud brick buildings, which made way for fields and fields of farms. As we walked through these fields to get to the point of the White and Blue Nile's confluience, we could see the ultra modern Dubai-esque buildings looking down on these primitive farms.

Later, we went to a Yemeni restaurant. I had already developed a taste for Yemeni food in Cairo and it was even better here.

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