A couple more log entries, taking in some incredible nature and desolate spots. Of course most of these entries are documented by Jamie’s photography so click on the link below and discover Trinkitat and Khor Nawarat in Sudan. Mark my word, one day, maybe many decades in the future, these will be prime holiday spots. For the time being they are untouched by the evils of mankind!
This is quite possibly our most action-packed log entry. Not only do we have an excellent podcast by Liz, but we have over 50 high-res photographs to accompany it too. The podcast was recorded on the first day of our three day trip to Luxor and takes in Karnak, Hatshepsut’s Temple and The Valley of the Kings, affectionately known as the ‘Valley of the Russian Whores’.
The podcast was recorded on our first day of our three day trip to Luxor and takes in Karnak, Hatshipsuit’s Temple and The Valley of the Kings. It is a fantastic walk-around commentary and is extremely well observed. What else would you expect from the daughter of a professor of archaeology? It’s quite amusing too, especially the observations of the Russian whores who were out in force that day. To help put things in perspective, take a look at these candid shots, all taken within half an hour at Hatshipsuit’s Sacred Temple.
One of the most striking things about the seaward entrance to Suakin is the dominance of a whole bunch of buildings that look as though they have been shot to pieces. This is Suakin Old Town and the reason these decrepit buildings look so ramshackle is because they are made of coral and collapsed in an earthquake. Some more pics for your entertainment…
Suakin has to be seen to be believed. It is one reason why I took so many photographs of both people and buildings. Along the dusty road from the anchorage and old city lies the market, and behind the market, the residential area. The market is surrounded by wooden buildings that look more at home in The House of Fun, such is the angle at which they sit. It is the residential area, however, that really shocks. More buildings made of any scrap of cardboard, metal or wood have been cobbled together to provide some kind of shelter from the sun.
As if we needed proof that we were visiting one of the world’s poorest countries, the 1 hour bus journey from Suakin to Port Sudan was an eye-opener I’ll never forget.
My first escapade into a Sudanese town was rather rewarding, at least from a photographic point of view. I’d been warned that the Sudanese do not like having their photograph taken and wandering around this battered old town with my massive Canon lens attached to my expensive camera certainly raised some eyebrows, not least from anyone in uniform. I’d already been ticked off by a local man for attempting to take pictures of the local fishing boats on this atmospherically cloudy afternoon.
Sudan is the gem of Africa. From the coast it is not only unspoiled but utterly stunning too. Then one sets foot on land and meets the people: they’re as beautiful as the land they inhabit. Sudan is one of those countries I really wish I’d spent more time in and it is my wish to return one day. In the meantime I have this set of images to remind me just how poor the people are, yet completely humble and happy. At least in front of the camera.
Can you think of the best day of your life? You’ve probably got a few, or perhaps you hadn’t given it much thought. It’s rare that a day happens and then lie in bed on the same evening concluding that it must be one of the best days of your life, but that’s what happened today. Today goes down as one of the most idyllic, perfect days I have ever experienced.
Fishing. It starts off like this…
This one’s for all you parents out there: Jordan and Leah are the youngest Vasco Da Gama rally participants and this impromptu recording caught them hanging out on their boat, Storm Dodger, on New Year’s Day. We get a little glimpse of what it’s like to be a teenager and young girl and, get this, Jordan even invites us into his cabin! A rare opportunity not to be missed! This is quite funny…
We’d spent the last week holed up in Luli and although good deeds were done it was time to get the hell out of Dodge and go discover some Sudanese nature. What better place than Marob?
I won’t bore you with the sail to this wonderful marsa but the log book does mention that we caught a 3kg tuna, saw lots of dolphins and sighted a strange, unidentifiable flashing object. One night sail later and we were quickly approaching a very tricky entrance to Marob via many hidden reefs. No wonder this coast is littered with wrecks.
This last week has been dramatic to say the least. You’ll find out more in the coming weeks when the podcasts and photographs of our progress are published. Bear in mind we now have to be mindful of what we make public knowledge and what we hold back, so there will be a delay in what we report on. In the meantime we’ve been sitting out some nasty southerlies in this safe little anchorage and yesterday we had some fun. Our tender, which is a British-built Tinker, doubles up as a sailing dinghy so Cillian of ‘Cobble’ and myself put a bit of effort into rigging her up and taking her for her maiden sail! Is this the first ever Tinker to sail in the Red Sea? Maybe, maybe not, but what is impressive is that I’ve successfully managed to upload a video clip of said maiden voyage. Listen out for the gay Egyptian soundtrack!
Last weekend six Copts were killed in Egypt in a drive-by shooting. This interview with a Copt was edited at the time this was happening…Despite Egypt’s current status as a Muslim country it actually hosted the oldest form of organised Christianity. They are called Coptics and make up between 10-15% of the Egyptian population. Hopefully further down the line I will get to chat more intimately with a Muslim and what their faith means to them but whilst in Egypt I was desperate to chat to a Coptic.
Eventually I pulled it off. I met a young Coptic woman in Luxor who was willing to chat and be recorded, a feat unto itself since most Egyptians are quite guarded when it comes to opinions. Despite taking a few minutes to open up and insisting that we change her name to Maria, the name of her daughter, this is a great insight. Furthermore we conducted our little chat aboard a horse and carriage, taking in the scenes of the backstreets of Luxor! This podcast is accompanied by a video clip of the carriage ride and coincidentally coincides with the recent drive-by killings of six Coptics.
One of the greatest things about being in the Red Sea is, of course, the snorkeling and diving. Imagine, then, having the freedom to sail to a suitable location, drop the hook, hop in the dinghy, pick a dive spot and drop over the side with your gear on, ready for a dive! Of course this helps if you have Graham of ‘Eeyore’ with you. He’s a qualified dive master and a passion for diving that is matched only by his passion for sailing and making the best mango chutney this side of Africa. We were also joined by Mick, who was out visiting Pat and Tony on ‘Full Flight’. Mick kindly donated some underwater pictures for you…
A happy new year to you! We celebrate the arrival of 2010 with a bunch of new podcasts, which we’ve titled ‘Through The Porthole’. (For those who had previous problems streaming their podcast we have improved the podcast media player.) They are a series of informal interviews with the Vasco Da Gama rally participants but to maintain interest amongst you non-sailors out there we’ve made a point of not talking about sailing; instead we find out a bit more about the people taking part. You’ll soon discover from this series that these people are many and varied, each with a story to tell. We start off with a fascinating man with an equally fascinating life story…