The Port Blockade
Trip Start Oct 04, 2008
67Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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Wadi Halfa 23rd Oct
I think we upset the germans. The couple were ok, Michael and his wife, it was the three chaps in the Nissan who were getting shirty. Our bus had finally arrived in the morning and I had sorted out the paperwork. Our problems started as we approached the bus. It was making that buzzing noise that it does when the master switch is on. It must have been 3 days and unsuprisingly the battery was flat. Unfortunately for both groups of Germans, our bus was parked firmly in the middle of the barge, No way around for their cars, We tried charging the battery with the generator, we tried borrowing an enormous battery from the barge. Our jump leads weren't long enough to reach the Germans batteries. Some big trucks drove on to the barge to allow us to jump start
A chap directed us to a mechanics workshop or scrapyard. They didn't have leaf springs, so we drove over and retrieved the ones we found yesterday. The Sudanese set to work, well most of them sat around discussing it whilst Bill set to work. After getting the wheel off, we found that the owner of the leaf springs had turned up wanting extortionate amounts for his scrap metal. We got him down from 300 to 130 Sudanese pounds. The mechanics also wanted to negotiate a price. They wanted 500, we finally agreed 350 as long as it was completed today. Whilst they squatted and chatted and removed bits, we repaired and cleaned what we could on the bus. It's a shame we ditched the filler, it was badly needed on the front near side. The paint in the tin is also the wrong shade of red. The lights at the back on the near side aren't working any more, not that this is likely to cause much of a concern in Sudan or Ethiopia for that matter. We also have no vehicle insurance. It's not available in Sudan apparently.
The work on the leaf springs was progressing well until the mechanics decided that they needed some brackets and bolts. These won't be available until tomorrow, so another night in this donkey infested armpit of a town. We have all decided that as soon as we are able, we will drive non stop for the border. Jo is flying out to meet us on Monday and we could all do with something stronger to drink than tea. All of those wonderful places on the way that we have had to rush through at breakneck speed and now we have had 3 nights in Wadi Halfa, It's not right.