Red Sea - day 9 Depart Suakin

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Fri 28 Mar 2008 09:17

19:19N 37:35E

12.00 28th March

Wow, there is a great deal to catch up on, we have set sail and are now
beating hard against a northerly wind, so the auto-pilot and spell check are
both working hard!

Two amazing days in Suakin in the Sudan, which I can only describe as
biblical, a place that looks like it hasn't changed for 2 thousand years.
Broken down buildings, goats roaming, men crafting knives and leather
in the street, nonetheless a very warm welcome. By 1800hrs, when we went
ashore for dinner, all was closed! Yesterday we took the public bus to Port
Sudan, a city of 2 million people. The bus was completely full with fold
down seats in the aisle and a goat in the rear. We travelled for an hour
across the desert where people lived in houses made from branches and
plastic sheets, camels roamed and goats grazed in a farming existence that
really has no compare.

Port Sudan was very busy, with a mixture of very black Africans and lighter
Arab skins, blended into and amazing mix. Almost everyone wore traditional
clothes and were probably much cooler for it. The woman wore black burkas
but also some much brighter African colour, saris of turquoise, cerise and
saffron. Getting the bus home was tricky. Silly to expect to be picked up at
the bus station we arrived at. Only after being told 5 or 6 times that we
needed to take a tuk tuk or taxi to somewhere called something Suakin did
we twig that we were being given good advice and went. Back on the bus,
whizzing across the desert with people sneaking sideways looks at these
strange pale things amongst them.

Back in Suakin and dinner in a restaurant (of sorts) on the front, fried
fish and excellent flat breads, light and fluffy but like naan. Another
at anchor before a trip at 0700 to market for bread and potatoes then set
for sea. More to tell when things are calmer and I can keep my fingers on
the keyboard. Great days!