Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Friday, March 11, 2011

Aswan - Wadi Halfa Ferry

Day 65
11-03-2011, Evening
The City of Khartoum – Blue Nile Sailing Club
11781 km since the beginning of the journey.

The story of the ship was not recorded before. Now it is just the right time to recall it and write down and upload. They say that in Ethiopia the net connection will not be not so good.
Getting out of Egipt was a much simplier than getting into the country. First of all – the old acquaintance or the Traffic police. In front of the house the green Egiptian yellow number-plate was taken off. And so the with the number plate in my hand - inside the house again through the back door. As far as the service counter stood. Then an official was called and he was the person who had to see us to the port And perhaps also make certain that everybody will leave the country for sure. For a moment I had a feeling that it would be nice to have this number-plate as a memory , but nothing to do. Then they asked to wait a little bit , which actually meant an hour. And then at last it was announced that we could go to the port.

Next – the cars had to make a row and further on we drove towards the port.

There was a total confusion at the port – like classical Brown motion. So and in case you take off some speed there is someone at once at the car window and tries to sell you something etc.

At the gate of the port there was a queue of at least a hundred metres long and about two metres wide. These two metres included all the bundles and people together. Fortunately the travellers by car didn`t need to queue up anywhere , the gate was opened the car was placed in the centre of the square and the out-checking could begin. This prcedure consisted of filling various forms which were in arabic, making copies and the meeting of various officials.

Some things went a bit of strange sequance. For example – after returning the number plate it was necessary to fill in a separate form with the same Egiptian number. The existance and the validity of the Sudan visa was checked at least at three different places. As I had two Sudanese visas in my passport and one of them was expired - so always the page with my expired visa opened first. And then I could put my finger on my valid visa.

This time the number of  chassi was not copied, probably no need for this any more. But the correctness was sill verified.

But every entertainment will come to an end and at last approaching the ship was successful.
The first look at the ship which goes between Egipt and Sudan once a week. The date of the creation unknown. For a moment I wondered that how it had managed to get behind the Aswan dam? Was it built at the spot or just went upwards and waited there until the dam was built .

Looking at the crowd at the port it seemed impossible to have all the passangers and the luggage on board.

The cars waiting for their turn. The cars were taken over by a separate barge. It moves only in daylight and is extremely slow and reaches the destination two days later.

After four-hours waiting time at last on board the barge.

The road went over rocks and stumps.

My car on board the barge, my rucksack with my jacket and sleeping bag with me , the doors the car locked and further on pushing myself towards the ship.

During the last 10 metres to the ship door - it was really a feeling of sprats in a box.

Beside is an open porthole used for loading boxes and bags on board the ship. At the entrance the existance of the passport is checked and I am succsessfully in. Welcome on Board! The passageways are full of people like in a bus during the rush hour. Somehow I succeed in climing on the upper deck, but there already are growing huge heaps of boxes and suitcases.

Here the situation is like this – it could even be possible to sit down – but then sleeping must also be performed while sitting. Over the head there is a rescue boat and to climb up there seems to be quite a good idea. Perhaps more space there.

Reaching up it comes out that of course I am not the first one there, but still – a welcome visitor.

Wadi_Halfa_Ferry (91)

But at least there is space to sit down here and if no more people will climb here there is a chance to lie downas well. The journey was supposed to last at least 18 hours. So – leaving at 6 p.m. and arriving next morning at 12 o`clock.

There is a vacant place by the chimney, but it will be occupied at once.

Wadi_Halfa_Ferry (92)

Meanwhile more people making attempts to climb up and join us, but the people sitting here gesticulate by hands that no more room here. Some of the upclimbers still manage to join us. Before the departure a kind of on ship-offical comes over and tries to get everybody out of the rescue-boats. The question „Where to go ?“ remains unanswered. He himself can see that there is no space below. The solution is however that some do climb down and the minority does not leave voluntarily and just takes a seat at the floor of the boat so that while looking from the side nobody is seen. There were some life –vests that made the sitting situation a little bit softer . And the ship is going to move at last.

All the horizontal surfaces including the rescue boat bases are full of people and their luggage.

Wadi_Halfa_Ferry (9)

According to the Manifest there was supposed to be nearly 600 passangers . Gradually it is getting darker and cooler. Good that the jacket and sleeping-bag was taken with.

In the morning the ship passes Abu Simbel.


Wadi Halfa is approaching. Which means that the majority of the people gathers on one side of the ship. The main thing – that it will not turn over – but slightly it has sagged on one side.

Wadi_Halfa_Ferry (21)

And video too

And in Sudan we are. The territory is the largest in Africa and is devided into two independent countries – Sudan and South-Sudan as the result of the Referendum.

No comments: