Swenson’s journey continues in Sudan with hikes along the Nile and a stop at the ancient pyramids

Desert ride

While in Sudan, Sabrina witnessed many locals using camels and donkeys as a means of transportation.

(Editor’s Note: Sabrina Swenson, a 1986 graduate of Postville High School, is the daughter of Erma Swenson and the late Marlin Swenson. A world traveler, Sabrina is sharing her experiences in Sudan. Printed below is the second of a three-part series.)

An hour later he still had not arrived. With lots of things I wanted to see and do and due to the fact that I had already paid him, I decided to head out and clamored up the muddy bank of the Nile. On reaching the top, I crossed a field to the main road and hailed a motor taxi . I headed to the center of Khartoum and continued to walk around for several hours. I stopped at the Sudan National Museum to check out the largest and most comprehensive Nubian archaeological collection in the world. I also stopped at the local market and found a beautiful, long, blue dress for $5. After that, I simply wandered the derelict, dusty streets as the sun seared. With not much else of interest, I headed back to the hotel and started making plans to venture out into the more interesting countryside. I secured a 4x4 for transport for the rough roads outside the capital to see the rural sights of the country.

My driver picked me up early the next morning and we headed North. On a regular basis we would have to stop at police security check points. A foreigner is simply not allowed to travel on their own outside of the capital. Since I had a local driver, these stops were no problem. After a greeting and short conversation of pleasantries, the police allowed us to continue on our way. Sudan is a fairly safe place, as long as you avoid the Southern border shared with South Sudan and all it’s problems.

On our way North, we stopped for lunch. My driver asked what I’d like and I said fish as we were next to the Nile. I thought that would be an easy request, however, we stopped at numerous places before we found one that had fish. We sat down in a dirty room with plastic chairs and tables. The owner brought out a whole fish and a round pita-like bread. There was also some greenery of which I’ve never seen and raw onions chopped up. In Sudan you eat with your hands, so you will never be offered silverware. I broke off some bread and put a piece of fish on it. The fish was cold and tasted rotten! My driver tasted it and said “that’s what fish always tastes like!” It apparently had simply been gutted and dried in the sun, not cooked! I couldn’t stomach it, so only finished the bread, greenery and onions.

Read the full articile of Part II of Sabrina's adventure in the August 16 edition of the Postville Herald.