Pole to Pole
Day 65: Wadi Halfa to Atbara
At eight o'clock we pass Station Number 6 (none of the stations across the desert have names). I remember a Sudanese butler in Cyprus insisting I visit his family here, but there seems no sign of life, family or otherwise, for miles around. I make my way through the shredded and rusting remains of a connecting corridor to the dining-car. There are six tables set beside dirty, shattered plastic windows and a number of empty wall-fittings where fans used to be. The breakfast of bread, chunks of beef, a boiled egg and lentils is not bad.
We reach Abu Hamed as the day is beginning to boil up. This is where the Nile, having completed a wide loop, turns south again.
The engine that has miraculously survived the night is taken off here, and while it is being refuelled I walk down to the river bank. A number of long, low boats with outboard motors are filling up with passengers to cross to the far shore. I notice that the women travel separately from the men, as they are required to do on the train.
Choose another day from Pole to Pole