Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Desert run

Last Sunday we packed a picnic basket consisting of a flask of black coffee, some choc-chip cookies, fresh pitas and salad (Grant always has cold samoosas) and drove into the desert. Previously I posted about stopping at an "industry" we noticed on the side of the road . A Sudanese camp where a man, his son and his camel were producing sesame seed oil. At the time I took photos of the camp and the [blindfolded]  camel at work. You can read about this here.  It seemed as if the camel may be stressed but I can honestly say that this time when we stopped at the Sudanese roadside camp this week, the camel was lying behind the tent, UN-blindfolded and eating a huge pile of wheat/straw. He looked very happy. Just like any employee who is  well-rested and ready for another day at the office (LOL!)

On a previous visit I'd given the farmer printed copies of the photos I'd taken the first time we met.

Whenever we return from a day in the desert, we hoot as we pass and he and his son wave like mad in return!

This time we took him a packet of tea bags, some powdered milk, a pack of sugar, biscuits and sponge cake (the latter being popular here in the Sudan!) As I gave him the bag of "goodies" telling him it was Hdyh (hadiya - a gift)  he said, "Come,  I have a gift for you too." And gave me a bag of sesame seeds and a bottle of sesame oil! BTW, I didn't take photos this time as I didn't want my "desert friend" to feel I was exploiting him.

A bag of sesame seed and a bottle of sesame oil was my gift from the small farmer/oil producer  I met on our earlier trips to the desert

Grant drove off the main road and found us this lovely shady spot for breakfast in the desert

This Sudanese gentleman appeared as if from nowhere while we were having a cup of coffee. After the normal greeting and enquiring after my health and my asking him how HE is,  asked if I would take a photo of him and his donkey. He loved it when I showed him the image on my LCD screen. Afterwards Grant remarked that the donkey looked quite fat and we wondered whether it/she was pregant. I thought the photo would make a good shadow shot 

Off to visit family?

We passed this huge herd of camels being driven across the desert
I could see two very small little guys at the tail end of the herd

I sure hope this little one managed to keep up with the herd

Driving north to the "other" pyramids, the area along the highway was still under water from the rains during August. We stopped for photos of birds on the water, but I didn't manage to capture them too well. Above are grey herons which can be viewed better if you click on the image

In my post about our visit to the Meroe pyramids in August, I posted a photo of an orange/pink plastic palm tree at an upmarket restaurant and overnight accommodation along the highway. This restuarant and accommodation style is repeated two hundred kilometers north near the pyramids.  This one had two neon yellow palm trees adorning area outside the round huts 
The Meroe pyramids are on the opposite side of the highway to the lesser-known, pyranids we visited this week

The pyramid site on the opposite side of the highway to the Mero pyramids (see photo preceding this one) which we visted in August

Going where angels fear to tread!

The interior tomb area of the reconstructed pyramid

As you can see by the short shadow my darling hubby is throwing, the sun was high overhead already. Not very good for photography but I managed to capture the pyramids quite well, considering!

I love the sand which has built up over time
I found a raised mound from which to take a few last photos!

A veiw of the pyramids we visited on Sunday

I was still taking photos of the pyramids and the scenery when I spotted this girl running across the rocks towards me. Even though we'd be told we don't have to pay to view these pyramids, I waited to see whether she was the "ticket lady". She was'nt. She had small carved replicas of the pyramids which she wanted to sell to me: SDG1 each. Grant gave her SDG10 and I told her to keep the ornaments and re-sell them to the next people who visit there. I don't think she gets many customers at this site. I asked her if I could take a photo of her, and she agreed
For someone so young, this girl has a very regal bearing
Portraite of a Sudanese girl

We've heard that this is a women's mosque. I never knew there were mosques for women, but perhaps this is one of them
Every village has a mosque, sometimgs two (Excuse photo quality: taken from moving vehicle)

Halfway home from the pyramids, Grant drove off the road in search of a good spot to have lunch. Isn't it amazing that we have the choice of a couple of hundred kilometers of uninhabited country as well as any tree or mountain to chose from?

Homeward bound after another enjoyable day in the desert

The Arabic word for day is al-Ywm (pronounced Al - yoom)
Note:  Once again, thanks to all readers of this blog who have commented on the last few days' posts. I'm sorry that I've not replied personally or visited blogs lately but things have changed for the Hedges of Khartoum and life is rather hectic at the moment. More about this tomorrow!


  1. Hi Jo, What a wonderful day you had...There has to be something special about driving into the desert for a day and for a picnic. That Sudanese girl is so pretty... That was nice of Grant to give her money.

    God Bless You and Grant, Jo.

  2. such lovely posts, I've never been to the desert... I hope to see it oneday!

  3. I can't thank you enough for all these posts that teach and amaze.

    Hoping whatever is hectic will be OK.

  4. Hi Jo,I have not had much time for blogging lately either!I enjoyed your desert trip and the lady in red looks very regal! How lucky to see a herd of camels in the desert! I hope the little ones made it home, that they are not the weakest being left behind?
    Wedding pics are so informative, you got photos of all of the main bits, it would be such a pity if people begin to adopt western styles at the expense of their local traditions.
    I think your reputation as a photographer is spreading they are queueing up to have their photos taken!

  5. Fascinating, Jo! The young girl looks very serious. It was so nice of you and Grant to give her the money.

    The huge herd of camels was amazing. I haven't seen so many camels in one shot before!

  6. The young lady is lovely, isn't she?
    I couldn't help but worry about that skinny little camel. If it doesn't catch up with its mother, it will starve.
    And of course I'm concerned about you and Grant and wondering about the changes you mentioned. I hope everything is going well.
    -- K

  7. I always enjoy hearing about your trips. Because I get to see them, too! But what always hits me is your act of kindness and blessings you give to those around you...May they come to see the Light in you. God bless and protect you always.

  8. Wow ....wath a beautiful pictures on your compliments.

    Greetings from Holland, Joop


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo