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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : Sudan

First of all, i would like to apologize to the people who can get worry by the lack of news the last weeks.

The explanation is quite simple , I just didn t find any good internet connection until now... but it doesn t mean I didn t live at 100% this period of travelling, for sure not...

I will indeed try to share with you my impressions about Sudan, a country big like 5 times France. 

Hospitality

I was thinking i had seen the best of the hospitality in Syria, i guess that Sudan opened me his door in even a better beautiful way. How many time I found myself getting host by the locals without even having asked for that.

Indeed the first idea I will have in mind the next time I will heard the word Sudan will be: Hospitality.

I have by this way discovered from the inside the life of the Sudanese in the villages, like you have maybe seen in the last newsletter about the Nubian people.

Anyway, i could test the hospitality in many different cases and i even got invited on the road by the workers of a petrol station.

In Sudan, there is free bed available in the petrol station for the travellers

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I can tell you that i didn t feel insecure to sleep outside in this country because the security look very important for the people towards the foreigners in Sudan.

I indeed heard the story of some travelers who forgot their camera in a restaurant and found it back the day after in the same place... incredible but true!

If hospitality is very easy to see in the acts, I also found it in the way of living of the Sudanese people. A deep kindness come from those people and you can see it from the huge smile and the welcome they wish you almost all the time.

The famous Sudanese smile 

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Hitch-Hiking in Sudan

As you can guess, hitch-hiking was not really difficult in Sudan. The fact to stop a vehicule is quite simple.

The only difficulty was in the North of the country where there is still no road at this day. There is only country road and of course very very few vehicules. That's why I had to wait many times the markets days in the villages to find the trucks finishing their workings days and going back to their villages... which helped me to go a little bit further.

Here I am travelling on the top of a truck

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Economic difficulties

I was just talking about the absence of road in the north of the country. This is one of the indications that let you see the economic difficulties that the country is today suffering.

Although the currency is stable since soon (2 sudanese pounds equals 1 dollar), I could see some miss in the country.

Indeed I could visit a school in the east of the country in Doka. The buildings are just shelters and the pupils cannot even sit on chairs and getting the help of a office to write on. There is only one blackboard by shelter.

Here is the entrance of a shelter in Doka

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Khartoum is also not very developed for a capital. Very few aslphalted road, included the center. Add to that a lot of electricity cut and you have a picture of the daily problems that can give you the life a little bit harder.

Anyway, some locals let me know that the situation is getting better and better. I hope that it will keep going in this direction.

Paradoxaly, i found surprising the costs of the administration. The visa should be one or even THE most expensive in the world. You have to expect to pay 100 dollars for the visa plus 43 dollars for the registration... and for that I had to wait 3 weeks in Aswan in Egypt! 

Politic problems

Economic difficulties, mainly, come most of the time from a bad organization of the government and can be a proof of some politic problems.

As you can see it though the medias, Sudan is the victim of a huge problem in his western area of the Darfour. The country is also just getting out from a civil war in the South, which damage a lot the economy of the country.

I couldn't get to the areas of this country (the government isn't delivering any authorizations towards this risky zones), so I unfortunately cannot give you any personal indication about the current situation. The problem is also so complex and close to internationals issues that I wouldn t like to join this discussion. Simply, I think about the inhabitants who didn t ask anything and get involved in the middle of huge troubles which push them to leave houses, families, even their lifes... in Darfour or in the South 

Cultural diversity

I couldn t go to the South or to the West of the country but it took me one month to visit the North and the East.

As I said, Sudan is huge and got a very various and rich culture. I personaly like the representation of the culture by the way of building the houses.

I really like the difference between the houses of the North and the one from the East.

Nubian houses are made by dry mud in the North of Sudan

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In a other way, the houses of the East lool like the houses of the Asterix Comics

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I think that you are curious to know how can be the inside of this kind of house. You have to know that the main function of this place is to sleep in the night.

Here is the inside of the houses of the East part of Sudan 

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Paradoxaly, we can find one common point in the culture of the Sudanese people. This will come from the food. Indeed the national dish seems to be the "Full". This dish is composed of beans on which we can add tomatoes, onions, cheese and some spicies. That doesn t look very nice but this dish fill my stomac during my stay in the bigger country of Africa by his size.

My dish of Full with some pieces of bread 

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 Climate: A big purcentage of desert

That was for me very important to have good food in Sudan because the climate is very difficult to live. Indeed I arrived during the hot season in the North of the country and the temperature reached 50 degrees Celsius (the equivalent of 122 degrees Fahrenheit). I can say I was really surprised to arrive in a so hot place and I even got some really tiring feeling at several moment.

In the North of Sudan, the temperature got up to 50 degrees Celsius

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This heat led myself in some very interessant situations. I realized that the majority of the sudanese like to sleep outside. The reason is that you have at least a little bit of wind outside and that can refresh you because it is also very hot in the night.

By this way, I had the surprise when I came back to the Lokanda (this is a kind of dormitory in Sudan) to see all the bed outside in the court of the building.

In Sudan, the people prefer to sleep outside when the weather is getting very hot

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This extrem climate lead you to be quickly in need of water. For this reason, the sudanese people found a solution : they put huge tank of water almost everywhere in the country. This system helped me many times. The good thing is that sudanese people really take care to fill those tanks because they know that this is very common to drink 5 liters if water per day (by a long day of walk, I even drank at least 10 liters of water in one day). 

Water, a natural ressource very important in this part of the world 

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It is also very important to take care of the wind. You can understand that in a desertic climate, there is desert and in the desert, you have sand. If you are getting in the desert when this is a windy day, you will have big chance to introduce a sandy storm. I could assist to this natural event from the inside of a vehicule and I can say that I wouldn't have like to be outside at this moment !

The sandy storm are impressive in Sudan

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To live in this difficult climate, the man get the help from an animal who get used to this environment. I want of course to talk about the camel. As I had many times the occasion to see this animal, I feel this animal like belonging to the sudanese culture.

This animal is used in trading and transport issues in the villages and he is very useful because very strong.

The camel, symbol of the desertic places

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It is important to know that the desert is not present in the whole country but he is mainly recovering the North of Sudan. The South part got a most lively landscape.

History and tourism in Sudan

To finish, I would like to say that there is an important touristic part in Sudan. Did you know that there is more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt ?

Also, I found the situation very amazing because I was alone in most of the touristic place. I felt in this way very peaceful because the places were of course very quiet. That was a very big difference after the overcrowded places from Egypt.

I let you with some picture of some historical places in the North of the country.

The pyramids of Nuri

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The pyramids of Kerima

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See you soon

Jeremy



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