Aswan and the ferry


Sounds like the title of a Greek tragedy almost.

Today was the day we’d been fearing for quite some time. The Aswan to Wadi Halfa Ferry is in over landing legend. We’d been piecing together bits of information about the ferry for a number of months trying to figure out what exactly we were supposed to do, where we were supposed to do it and more importantly how much was it going to cost us. Mr Salah Takourny is the owner of the company that runs the ferry between Egypt and Sudan, we had been warned about how temperamental he can be towards customers. The internet was only helpful so far, even Mr Takourny’s website was seriously lacking information, the best information we had was from an overlander website. This had a list of Eastings and Northings from which we could type into Google Earth and navigate towards them, they also had brief descriptions of where the offices and people we needed were based. We still had massive problems tracking some of them down. In the midst of all this Jack and Red managed to get detained by the Egyptian Police for half an hour. They went looking for directions and ended up being interrogated by half the police station who knew different pieces of English. After a while the police understood and they let them go, was a misunderstanding more than anything else. The Police seriously advised us against going to Sudan. We’ll take that under advisement. Back on the trail of ferry tickets we eventually found Mr Takourney’s office. “Ferry finish” he simply said “What do you mean?” we asked “You’ve missed this Monday’s sailing, next Saturday you need to come back to me” That’s a full seven days away. “Oh and the price is £500L.E per person first class and £2000 L.E for the jeep.” We left Mr. Takourny’s office with nothing but despair on our minds. It was a major set back. After some calculations and some planning we reorganised a few pieces of the trip and now it turns out we have 38 days once we enter Sudan to reach Cape Town. This has turned into a race against time. We still have enough time to do and see everything we want on the trip but if we run into another major snag then the trip becomes much harder. We were hopeful and instead of moping around we are simply going to plan the route ahead, tinker with Doris, sightsee and fish in the Nile. Aswan is a place where overlander’s gather on their way into Sudan. The first group we met is a husband and wife Journalist team Steve and Chrisanti from Australia, theyre travelling from Cairo to Cape Town on public transport and seeking out some stories as they go. The next person we met was Andy Norris, an ex-Royal Green Jacket from Manchester who is cycling from Liverpool, UK to Ladysmith, S. Africa for Help for Heroes. We’ve all banded together as overlanders and went on a Felucca ride on the Nile at sunset. Some of the views around Aswan are breath taking and the water was cool in the warm evening breeze. Soon we plan to hit Abu Simbel and maybe head off into the desert for some off roading if we fancy it. Our greatest enemy here is boredom and we’ve all elected to learn a new skill, read a book or try and accomplish something over the next 7 days before we leave Aswan. Game off Monopoly anyone?

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4 Responses to “Aswan and the ferry”

  1. Wow guys – hard luck on the ferry! Hope the 38 days are fun! If you need any ideas or updates on routes, let us know. As a heads-up, allow at least 3 days for the road from Moyale (Ethiopia/Kenya border) to Nairobi – the first 260km are the worst roads on the entire route. We did it in 24 hours of actual driving time, but then spent 3 days repairing the damage… Anyway enjoy Aswan!

  2. Rick Barr Says:

    Dudes, keeping tabs on your trip so far. Just don’t push it too much on the race against time. Better be a few days late arriving in Cape Town than ending up in a ditch!! Peace out. Rick

  3. Sue Smith Says:

    I hear you’ve met the cycle2kenya team, thank you for the help you’ve given them by mending their tent pole and helping with Tatu!

    Hope you enjoy the river trip this evening and the ferry journey goes OK.

    Wishing you success on your trip, stay safe,

    Sue Smith (Mat’s Mum!!)

  4. Hey guys, Trust the ferry ride didn’t kill you.
    Bit of a mention here – http://bit.ly/pKoane
    Catch on the road soon.
    Cheers, Steve
    (and stop picking on Chris,,,)

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