Saturday, January 29, 2011

TdA Rest Day 4. Dongola.

My rest day in this little town was very restful. I didn't get out of my tent until after sunrise as it was coooold. Is it just me, or is it strange that I have been sleeping with a toque every night since we started...I thought that africa was going to be hot. Wtf? Meh, the hot days will come and I will be wishing myself back to this temperature.

The day was focused around preparation, organization and relaxation. And eating. I've been doing a lot of that. A few tent repairs were necessary from the windstorm last week; fabric tears and also a sandy zipper. It will be a miracle if this thing makes it through the next four months. I probably should have spent at least a moment considering whether a tent called the 'birdhouse' could survive 120 consecutive days of camping in africa.

I had some time to wander around Dongola. I don't know anything about it...population, economy, history. But I can tell you a few things that I like about this place:
- people take pride in their property. Tuktuks are nicely decorated. The tile floors of the little shops are clean. Litter is limited.
- people are smiling and very friendly. Walking down the street, people say 'welcome' and 'hello'. They seem genuinely excited that we have come to see their home.
- people don't seem bothered by western women. I had expected that I would need to dress differently here, but I can wear shorts and a tshirt and not even get dirty looks or cat calls.
- people don't try to scam you. Prices are basically fixed and reasonable.

Tomorrow we carry on south. Four riding days and then we will arrive in Khartoum.


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