The Journey To Port Sudan: An Eye-Opener

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.

The road itself was straight, well kept, though littered with bits of tyre along the entire stretch. It’s a coastal road that takes in views of the Red Sea, including the many wrecks in the coral and shallow water. It was the townships of refugees, however, that made the journey so memorable. On either side of the road, seemingly placed in random spots, were camps of refugees. Their houses were made of little more than bits of cardboard and other rubbish I guess they can lay their hands on. The camps were possibly based around water sources as every now and then we’d pass by a small, lush plantation of vegetables. A little girl who appeared to be riding on the bus with her mum, hopped off in the middle of nowhere, holding a very large sack of rice, presumably picked up from one of the aid lorries. She wasn’t travelling  with her mum, she was on her own. She could have been no more than five years old.

Many years ago I visited Guatemala and my abiding memory of the mountain towns I passed through was just how poor the locals appeared to be. Well, Guatemala is a second-world country and Sudan is a third-world country, so that might give you an idea of the extent of desperation in these camps. Kids so poor they’re playing football with a stone. You should have seen the local boys’ eyes light up when we gave them a little ball to play with!

Surprisingly Port Sudan was as ‘affluent’ as any other port town with a university, internet cafes and hotels, albeit on a smaller scale than a western city equivalent.

What really makes this city though is the people. I spent most of the day in an internet cafe whilst Liz went off and had a laugh with the locals. Her and Debs of ‘Eeyore’ found ‘tailor’ street and got themselves some clothes made for next to nothing.

Encouragingly the local women seem to be treated as equals, dressing in some wonderfully colourful fabrics and joining in the banter with the visiting tourists.

Port Sudan appeared to be full of very happy and content locals. Of course I took my camera and got some snaps of this interesting town. Oh, and that comment I made about Sudanese people not liking their photograph being taken? Utter tosh! Check these pics out of the Port Sudan people and places.

I started with a little visit to the local butcher. These lads loved playing up to the camera!

The old tut-tut is a popular mode of transport and can be seen on every street corner…

Here are some more snaps of street life in Port Sudan. See if you can spot the obligatory couple of men holding hands.

Did you spot the woman in the previous picture?

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12 Comments on “The Journey To Port Sudan: An Eye-Opener”

  1. Follow your progress with interest and admiration. Your blog makes our sailing seem very dull. We are still in the UK were the weather has been White and cold but return to Yacht Marine in April.
    Enjoy your trip and stay safe

    Brian & Maureen SY “Una Vida Solamente”

  2. Fascinating photos-and no we did not see the woman; had to look again more than once before we spotted her.Makes one realise how priviledged we are to live in the West.

  3. Just lookig at yesterday’s log and pictures. Thankyou for sharing.Wonderful ‘photo’s.Good to know you are heading for India at last.
    Eeyore’s Dad and Mum

  4. Hi folks,
    Say hello from me to El Barbary, the yachts agent in town & Max (Muharrem)the tourist guide youll find at the local church..They are very helpful if you need things they can provide & very friendly..If you are going to stay sometime in port Sudan a visit to the market behind & inland from the town, where they sell all kinds of things salvaged from shiprecks, dirt cheap,& it is a must..All the best to the rally people,millie & liz& you…

  5. Great photos. Loving your voyage. Really looks like you are finding some gems to see and capture on film for the rest of us to enjoy too. Happy sailing.

    Suzie x

  6. Nice images Jamie , am pleased that you are doing so well. Have a great 4oth. regardless of being out at sea … you can always celebrate in style later. I will be doing the same in Summer. My 50th. came and went in early Feb but will celebrate it with my twin in Croatia in the summer.Actually I am in Croatia at the moment… freezing cold , on the Island of Losinj where we are waiting for better weather. Temperatures are usually between 3 and 7 .. no joke as we are delivering a charter boat that has never had a heater. Take care out there wishes , Mike

  7. wahwahwewa the photo are great and the story i wonderful.
    miss you all give kiss and hugs to every body i know.
    eve over

  8. Stunning pictures – thank you for the insight – say hello to Div and Ants please and look forward to your next e-mail on safe arrival at the port. Regards Jac

  9. Dear Jamie, Liz and of course Millie … HAPPY HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY wishes to you Jamie, hope you had a great day.
    Your blog is just amazing, the last lot of photos came through clear as a bell, it’s just been wonderful being able to keep track of you.
    Fair winds and safe and happy sailing.
    With much love,
    Brigitte & Martin

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