Sudan - Gederef
From the cab my first impressions of Sudan were of flat endless fields, tractors and mechanised harvesters, large herds of cattle and sheep, water towers, donkey hauled water carts, pigeons and doves, round grass-thatched huts, enclosed in fenced or walled compounds with bright coloured doors and gates and often sporting TV aerials; women with covered heads but wearing bright clothes of lime green, ochre yellow. We stopped about midway - mainly because the radiator needed a dose of "radweld" (sealant) but it also gave me a chance to find a toilet and buy some wonderfully chilled water.
It was about 1700 when we reached the outskirts of Gederef. The driver wanted at least the bribe on top of what we had agreed. I knew that from Gederef I could get a luxury bus the next morning and a better chance of seeing the Sudanese "countryside". Besides the prospect of arriving in Khartoum in the early hours and sleeping in the driver's bunk (hopefully without him) was not too tempting.
In Gederef I bought a coach ticket for the next day, sounded like luxury with video, air-conditioning and breakfast included. Then I set about finding accommodation. A guy from the coach office came with me. The first hotel charged US$3 (which I snobbishly thought was overpriced) the second was US$35 was out of the question (I was not on a business trip) and US$9 was way too expensive for self-contained, air-conditioning, and charming balcony (the sun must have got to me). So we returned to the first place only to find the room was no longer available. The coach company staff were very sympathetic and said I could sleep at the rest house with the drivers if I wished. It offered a bed and a lift to the coach station in the morning, but I would need to take my own food as there was nowhere nearby to eat or shop.
It was probably about 2100 before I got dropped at the staff flat. It was a bit Spartan apart for five beds and electricity. However the other occupants were friendly and it was somewhere to get my head down.
Sudan - Gederef