08.03.2014 - 08.03.2014
Today, it is my turn to go to Khartoum [Khartoum-travel-guide-1178590]’s railway station. I needed to buy my ferry from Wadi Halfa [Wadi-Halfa-travel-guide-1334920] to Aswan. I got there easily by bus, having made the journey with Marius yesterday.
I got there at 0915 and was out of there by 0930! There was a small crowd around the window but I got my booking done swiftly. It cost me SDG242 for second class; no first class was available for some reason despite the banner next to the counter offering two classes.
Coming back, the bus took a different turn and I had to hunt for the correct bus back to the airport area. It felt like unnecessary hassle but I was back in the hostel by about 1030 for a rest.
Marius and I grabbed lunch together before I bade him farewell and tuktuk’ed to the Haj & Umrah Terminal of Khartoum Airport for my Badr Airlines flight to Port Sudan [Port-Sudan-travel-guide-1179181]. With an ETD of 1600, I had been advised to check-in at 1300.
For a change, I was apprehensive about flying. I had just learned about Malaysia Airlines having lost a Boeing 777 on a routine flight from KL to Beijing. That’s a respectable airline. I’m now going to be flying with a relatively unknown one operating preloved Boeing 737.
The flight left 25 minutes ahead of schedule. We climbed extremely slowly. It’s unusual for me to feel uneasy. We reached a more respectable altitude eventually and were given a substantial snackbox, soft drinks, water and coffee/tea. Not bad for a 1 hour flight.
The plane looked very tidy for a preloved specimen. The seats were very narrow, giving way to a wide aisle. Being in seat 3B, I rubbed shoulders with a very large (not fat) Sudanese accountant and a Sikh trader.
We landed into Port Sudan where it was cooler than Khartoum. I had trouble telling taxi drivers where I wanted to go, ie. Sudan Red Sea Resort. The Sikh trader rang the resort for me and the driver immediately knew; they call the place by the name of the lady owner, Iman. The fare quoted was SDG150, rather than the resort’s rate of SDG350. I was so pleased I forgot to bargain him down.
It was a 15 minute ride to Port Sudan, which we passed through and another 30 minutes before we turned off the main road to the property.
I’m in a little cottage set behind newer ones aren’t ready for occupation yet. The older cottages share an ablution block while the new ones have ensuite. The grounds and the new buildings were very artistically designed. The beach wasn’t really a beach; just ugly brown sand that led into the water. I don’t think I’d want to be here if I wasn’t a diver.
The owner/staff were all very nice and hospitable. Hassan (whose mother Iman owns the place), discussed my diving options with me. As there were no other guests to share with, the only economical option was the house reef and nearby Abo Abdilla. I can’t justify the cost of going to the more famous sites all by myself :-(
I concluded the day with an in-house dinner of Fish Saidiah, which was rice and chunks of fish, all cooked in a tasty brown sauce. Even though the temperature here is lower than Khartoum, it was uber humid. I think the dry heat of Khartoum is actually more comfortable.