KHARTOUM TO PORT SUDAN
Riding 800 miles through Sudan, the biggest and least explored country in Africa, from Khartoum across the Nubian Desert to the Red Sea, struck Peter Lawton and CHRIS REEVES as quite a challenge. It was!
Sudan is the largest country in Africa, 10 times the size of Britain with a population of just 18 million, half of them under 20 years old. Unlike neighbouring Egypt and Kenya, it's largely unexplored and totally untouched by tourism. If you go to the more remote areas it is possible to make contact with people totally unaffected by the West who have lived from generation to generation with little change in lifestyle.
Just what Pete Lawton and I were looking for. Smitten by the travel bug, a keen sense of adventure, and bicycles, we were after a challenge, something to put us to the test both mentally and physically. The question was where? I paid a visit to the Royal Geographic Society and much research later it had to be Sudan. The chosen route was from Khartoum to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
So last summer, thanks to the Bridge the World Travel Centre, we found ourselves on an Egypt Air flight bound for Khartoum.
We arrived at seven o'clock in the morning on August 22 and the temperature had already reached 35 degrees Centigrade. Stepping from the plane it was as though someone had suddenly opened an oven door!
We passed through immigration remarkably quickly, our bikes creating a great deal of interest and intrigue. We had chosen Giant Stonebreakers for the expedition and both were fully loaded with front and rear panniers, and camouflaged to deter thieves.
But immigration was only the first of many formalities.