“On every day of my expedition from AA Kyalami to Silverstone via Africa, the Middle East and Europe I believe I have got through the worst section of the trip only to discover that the next day is worse than the last.”
These were the words of Roger Pearce via his Blue Sky satellite phone in Dongola, Sudan tonight.
On Tuesday, June 22 Pearce reached Khartoum, Sudan after leaving Gonder, Ethiopia at 06h00 to tackle a very bad gravel road, if one can describe it as that, to the border and what followed was an even worse 155 kilometre gravel stretch to Gadaref and then a reasonable 414 kilometre tar road into Khartoum, which is where the Blue Nile and White Nile meet.
Pearce hit a large dog, which wrecked the left hand front fender and park and headlight and then encountered a sandstorm, which forced him to park at the roadside.
“I found the sandstorm to be quite frightening and decidedly claustrophobic,” said Pearce. “The force of the storm was such that my trusty, old MGB GT was rocking from side to side and visibility was zero.”
Yesterday was a rest and repair day in Khartoum with Pearce attending to the now ailing MGB GT. The suspension, in particular, had taken a hammering and every nut and bolt required tightening and a seized wheel bearing was replaced.
This morning (Thursday, June 24) Pearce left Khartoum and managed to reach Dongola after getting horribly lost in the desert.
“There are so many tracks in the desert that one does not know which are the actual road and which are dead ends,” said Pearce. “I came across an oasis and was directed on to the correct route, which was fortunate because the ambient temperature was sitting at 50 degrees.”
“The extreme temperatures in the desert mean that I will now only drive in the morning, but that is not a concern as I am well ahead of schedule at the moment, provided of course that I can get through the Sudanese desert.”
Getting lost was one problem but being refuelled with diesel instead of petrol was another. The MGB GT’s fuel tank had to be drained and refilled from Pearce’s reserve petrol supply onboard the vehicle. It will take a while for the system to be flushed, but Pearce is confident that he will achieve his target of reaching Wadi Halfa on the Sudanese border with Egypt, a 400-kilometre haul, by nightfall tomorrow.
Original article from Car