|Title:||"end of the road, part one" - "a swim in the nile"|
|Location:||wadi halfa, sudan (189 m)|
|Text:||55 041 kilometres on the road
when i woke up a fine pink line at the horizon was already forming while the stars were still bright in the sky. as they slowly faded with the awakening day a line of palm trees along nile started to take shape, growing out of blurred greyness into refined silhouettes drawn into the red of the morning.
ismail came out with tea and bread and, as we had breakfast, he recommended us to visit the nearby temples of sulb which were right across the river. as we were in no hurry to reach wadi halfa today mauro and i agreed to make this an easy day, look at the temples, and then drive as far as we would get.
abdullah, one of ismail's neighbours, offered to come with us and while he looked for a boat mauro and i went for a swim in the nile. it was greatly refreshing! during the last couple of days we had been drinking unfiltered nile water in the villages and now we drunk it straight from the river. it was fun to drink while swimming and the water tasted pure and fresh. we hadn't developed any stomach problems lately so we didn't worry.
the pharaonic temple at sulb is only one of many in sudan. there are archaeological sites all along the nile, including the steep pyramids of merowe, and some locals claim that the entire early egyptian culture had come from sudan. whatever the truth, it was an interesting to stroll among the pillars and admire the faded hieroglyphs without a single other tourist around. egypt, we knew, would be different.
back at the house a huge breakfast was waiting for us. it was still before ten o'clock and we would have at least two hours of driving before it would get too hot. we thanked ismail and his family who whished us a good journey and said goodbye in the same natural way as they had received us. there were no forced tears or overwhelming statements of sorrow. we parted like old friends that would soon meet again. of all peoples the ones of nubia must be among the most welcoming and gentle in this world.