|Location:||lake nasser (174 m)|
|Text:||55 044 kilometres on the road
it must have taken an entire team of intellectuals, most likely with master's degrees in chaos theory, to design wadi halfa's sophisticatedly complex labyrinth of border formalities.
first we went to the port where, after a lengthy discussion with a highly decorated officer, we were finally allowed to pay some fees in return for a very important, if incomprehensible document in arabic. after that we were sent back to town where we faced an enthusiastic and motivated team of immigration officers who stamped our passports for a fee.
back at the port two important looking men gave us contradictory orders and we choose to follow more decorated one. for an hour we switched forth and back between two offices, obtaining a slip of paper here and signing another document there.
we eventually ended up in a long customs hall, where twenty four ventilators circulated hot air and where shouting officers, swearing porters and complaining customers competed for airtime. here we had to unload the bikes and prepare the luggage for an inspection which never took place. eventually we received our final stamps and were released.
despite all the hassle i must admit that most of the officers involved had been very friendly and full of good humour, and that the total of all payments amounted to very little money. but running around in full body armour in this heat was tiring and we were happy when we could finally board the ferry
our so-called first class cabin was a smelly windowless cell but it was luxury compared to the plastic chairs in main hall where hard working air conditioners kept temperatures close to zero and where screaming kids competed for attention.
to my surprise i met josh on the upper deck. we had met in kampala on two occasions and now we were on the same boat. africa really is a village! he had secured himself a space on the open deck where he'd sleep under the stars. for a moment i believed he had found the perfect solution. later, however, i found out that he lost half of his territory to invading groups of families who had all had the same good idea and escaped the deep-freezer downstairs.