Arrival in Khartoum
Khartoum Travel Blog› entry 58 of 81 › view all entries
British Airways Flight 060 landed in Khartoum at 4:00 a.m. local time. Scott and I loitered until daybreak then pitched in on a taxi into the city with four European backpackers. After learning that the youth hostel had no water, we found space at the Royal Hotel. A veranda surrounding the run-down building was littered with cots and we each got one for seventy cents a night.
Date palms lined dusty streets as we explored the unfamiliar city. Most shops and stores were closed, being Friday in a Muslim country. Brown houses, like the weathered walls they squatted behind, were built of dried mud. Turbaned black men in white Arab costumes shielded themselves against blowing sand.
Scott and I found the Blue Nile first. Trees lined its placid flow through Khartoum and the air along its green corridor inhaled much fresher than within the dusty town. People swam and bathed along the mudded banks while a riverboat passed and ferries crossed its mellow current. Continuing past a Hilton Hotel, we reached the White Nile. It was wider than the Blue and had a much stronger current.
Somewhat acquainted with our new environs, we returned to the Royal and ran into Richard, Dave, and Virginia - just arriving overland from Nairobi. Since the encounter at the Thorn Tree after our safari, we never imagined catching up with them again. Once they settled on the veranda, Scott and I listened in awe to amazing accounts of their rugged journey through the northern frontiers of Kenya; the ruthless shotgun-toting militants in Uganda who robbed travelers at will; and their primitive riverboat nudging through the lofty yellow reeds of southern Sudan (the Sudd). For Scott and I, arriving in Khartoum from Nairobi was like stepping back in time several hundred years; for the Australians, reaching civilization.