Sudan - Khartoum II
In Omdurman market I tried to find a shopping basket. The one I had bought in Ethiopia was falling apart. I was particularly keen to find one with long handles so I could wear it over my shoulder and this proved elusive. As the market covers several square kilometres and tourists normally end up buying the equivalent of straw donkeys in one tiny corner I had great difficulty persuading the helpful locals that I really wanted something else. Unsuccessful, I took breakfast in one of the market cafés ordering what I fancied by pointing at the dishes in front of other customers.
On the way back into town I called in at the Department of Antiquities to get a permit for visiting the pyramids at Meroe ("Me-ro-ee"). I explained that I wanted to stay overnight so I could appreciate them both at sunset and sunrise, so the lady kindly wrote a letter for the "curator" to explain that I should be allowed to do this with a one day permit. Feeling I was on a roll I next called in at the Department of Immigration where I was obliged to re-register my arrival in Sudan. (This seemed to be a pointless exercise but I didn't want to risk reaching some out of town roadblock and being sent back or fined for having incomplete paperwork.) Tediously I was told I needed my hotel to stamp my re-registration form and I needed to provide photocopies of my passport, visa, and registration. I agreed to return later. Outside the post office I found street stalls selling stamps and postcards. There wasn't a great deal of choice and I didn't have much confidence that they would reach home but the central post office in the capital city was probably the best chance I was going to have.
Later I copied two weeks of photos to a CD with the assistance of a most efficient lad in the market. (Of all the countries where I had done this I was impressed how confident and unfazed the staff were, I think I even learnt a trick or two.). I also went and checked my emails; there was sad news from home.
Sudan - Khartoum II