Crocodile heads and lunar landscapes
Jul 05, 2005
In the morning, Mr. Saffe gives me a ride into town. We carpool, picking up the crocodile hunter on the way. He's in the military or police, wearing lots of medals and carrying a big gun - possibly a M16.
Our next stop is along the waterfront, where much to my adventurer's delight, we pick up a crocodile's head. That doesn't happen every day. Though, oddly I'm forbidden from taking pictures of the head, which leads me to believe that he's not supposed to be shooting them.
Mr. Saffe pays for my bus ticket in addition to giving me a free place to stay and free food. But there is no way for me to refuse his hospitality.
My transport for the day is a big bus. The bus has no windows, but it's wonderfully comfortable and dust free as compared to my previous couple of trips.
Several hours into the trip, we come across the small town of Akasha, which might provide interest to any Anne Rice fans. Akasha, the town, is tiny, perched among the rocks, with a great view down upon the Nile.
Then we leave the river and head through the desert and up through some hills. The day is like a seminar in Geology 101. There is no dirt or trees along this "road" - just exposed rock. Thousands of years of dry wind have exposed the rock, and then eroded it away.
With nothing else to do to kill the time, I take lots and lots of photos of rocks.
I've gotten accustomed to the heat, but still it's damn hot today. The temperature is somewhere around 117 degrees (47C). At times, it feels like a blow dryer on hot right up against my face. The breeze is hot enough to hurt.
For hours and hours, there is nothing living. The scenery looks downright lunar. As we come down the hill, eventually we come across two small, half-dead trees, alongside some buildings. It's amazing how much power something living can have after all of that desolation.
As we descend further, I can smell the moisture. The four-hour trip, has taken 7.5 hours already. Then finally, boom, we see the green and turquoise, tree line of Wadi Halfa and Lake Nasser ahead of us. A police checkpoint, followed by dropping people off around town cause another 1.5 hours of delay, but finally I've made it.
I was thrilled to see green as I descended to Wadi Halfa, but it turns out to be a miserable, ugly, desert town. There are 5 hotels all on the same block and all about the same prices (600-700 dinar). I pick one and settle in for the night.
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