A sunrise to savour.
When we are on the road we tend to follow the circadian rhythms of each day.
Up with the sun and to rest when the sun sets.
The absence of internet access reduces the temptation to look at a screen.
We have a long ride today.
The first few km are through dusty 'streets' near the university in Dongola.
Across the Nile bridge
And off we go.
The road is very good.
There are very few stopping places along the way.
At the first road house we have tea.
The husband is happy for me to take his photograph in the kitchen but not one of his wife who is at her tea and coffee making console, fanning a charcoal fire and choosing tea leaves or coffee for each customer.
Our route takes us along the Nile for about 350km and then we turn east toward Khartoum.
In the middle of the desert we spot some buses parked by a road house.
We arrive in spectacular fashion as Orlanda has a lie down in the soft sand.
I have enough presence of mind to take a photo, then I realise my ribs are sore.
Dick tells me that he deliberately chose a soft sandy landing.
Some young men come and help lift Orlanda.
We have a cup of tea and ride away.
Just as well I am a 'southern woman' because there are 200km to ride to Khartoum.
We come across camels crossing the road. They 'own' the road so we treat them with respect.
We need to be alert to camels and to goats.
We arrive in Khartoum.
Markets are often on the outskirts of towns.
There is chaos, abundant chaos...
Buses, tuk tuks, people on donkeys and horses...
And then serenity...
We pull up at out tent for the night, the Corinthia Hotel.
A legacy of Gaddafi's generosity.
Our room overlooks the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers.
This ride continues to become a series of visual reminders of stories we read when we were young, documentary films, National Geographic magazine stories...
Most of all it is our story...
as our preconceptions are challenged by our encounters with people, places and cultures we have only ever read about.