After suffering to cross the Danakil desert in Ethiopia and Djibouti, I have promised myself that never again I would cycle another desert in north of Africa. Therefore when I arrived to north of Sudan and I knew about the Nubian Desert, I had no doubt…
Northern Sudan, Nubian lands
The Nile River has been divided into different parts. The middle one was called Nubia; it goes from the first fall, which is located in Aswan, in the south of Egypt, to the join of the white Nile and the blue Nile in Khartoum.
In ancient times it was an independent and united organization called “The Kingdom of Kush”. This territory was the way of the caravans that join black Africa with the Pharaonic Egypt, a kind of corridor where gold, ivory, leopard fur, ebony and slaves were controlled.
During the new Egypt empire, the region was under its control. New temples were built to claim the new sovereignty and a new governor was name the viceroy of Kush. So Nubian became in an Egyptian province.
In the second half of the century VIII BC., the King and Queen of Kush conquered the whole valley from the Nile river up to the Mediterranean sea, ruling and giving origin to the Dynasty XXV.
After six governorship of Kushita´s Dynasty, the Nubian were defeated by the Assyrian (Dynasty XXVI) and they drew back up to the second fall, taking some aspect of the Egyptian culture, consequently, they affected each other with it.
I had to take a train to cross the north of Sudan: the Nubian desert spreads for more than 600 km and cycling would have been impossible. The train left Khartoum and it was really long. The first half was for passenger and the other for loads.
The trip lasted 36 hours but they were ok; but it was not easy to sleep. There were people everywhere, the cabins were full of people, nobody respected their capacity and there were people sleeping on the aisles, the ones who were a little trampled, at least up to the next stop.
Something funny happened to me at midnight. I found a Canadian who was looking for somewhere to sit; he was also travelling by bike around the world, he had started at the same time like me and he had advantaged me the American continent, from Canada to Usuahia. Rob who was in his forties was a maths, physics and Chemistry professor and after being mentioned the best professor of the year on a TV program in Canada he launched to fulfilled his dream.
The trip finished in Wadi Halfa, border with Egypt, a village with small ruins on the coast of the Nile river, which memories also include the great amounts of seals that are required to leave the country.
At last but not least a little more crazy but I could leave Sudan.