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On the Ferry to the Sudan
Limited update today as basically nothing happened. That’s not to say that the day was boring, far from. It was just a day of hurry up and wait. We were allowed a sleep-in this morning but as we have already conditioned our bodies to early mornings almost all were bright eyed and bushy tailed far before the designated marshalling hour. Most took the extra time to grab a cup of coffee or do some last minute grocery shopping for the boat ride that lay ahead. This was followed by a 16 km convoy ride, over the Aswan damn to the ferry terminal where we were ushered to a loading area and kept there for an hour while the Egyptian immigration officials decided how best to process the group. The final decisions was to have us gather all our bikes and line up for a passport inspection, followed by a simple Q & A about whether we had camera’s. Strange. Despite the fact that there are roughly 2.7 cameras per rider I didn’t hear a single person respond with a “Why yes officer, I do have a camera. Would you like to take it from me and inspect all the photographs to see whether or not I have state secrets hidden within?” Clever bunch we are. Followed by another passport inspections, followed by another passport inspection. Apparently it is quite common for westerners sporting skin tight biking shorts and gregariously coloured biking jerseys to attempt to leave Egypt illegally via the once weekly ferry ride into the Sudan.
What followed was a veritable orgy of yelling, jostling and general mayhem as we scrambled to board the ferry that is now steaming across Lake Nasser. While promised and paid for were cabins for all our riders the ferry company decided to cut our allotment meaning many have been compelled to find whatever comfort they can on the exposed deck, mixed in with Sudanese shoppers returning home with an array of goods ranging from Twinkies to full size refrigerators. I hope all can somehow find a good nights rest.
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