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Published: November 9th 2007
We never found any statue to General Gordon - sadly. But we were thankful to leave Khartoum and get on with our journey so were up and away by 8 o’clock. It was easy to get out of the city, shopping and fuelling up as we did so. But once away, when I was leading, we went horribly wrong and despite the helpful directions from non English speaking locals (who sent us in the totally wrong direction) we found ourselves out in the scrubby desert amongst endless hovel villages with never a moments sight of tarmac anywhere.
We were totally lost amongst a maze of tracks, none of which seemed to lead in any sensible direction! To resolve this we headed NORTH, back towards Khartoum, in the firm belief that we would eventually hit some sort of civilization once more! Oh well, it took us about an hour and a half to sort this out before we got onto the right road, a toll road south east towards Gedaref
. Progress was slow because of the density of traffic, with huge articulated lorries pulling equally large articulated trailers, with a total of up to 12 axles per outfit. These were slow and blocked us frequently.
However because of our earlier delay, we now had no hope of reaching Gedaref so camped well before it got dark, in a thorny bit of scrub next to a huge prairie-like field of planted sogum (or millet). It was thorny, but otherwise perfectly adequate for us all. We sat round at sunset only to find ourselves plagued by hordes of bugs and grasshoppers. They were everywhere, in our clothes, in our cars, in our food - dreadful things! We eventually placed a bright light some 15 yards from where we sat and this attracted all the bugs there, and away from us. We made sure our tents were bug proof when we retired to bed!
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