Ethiopia to Sudan border
To finish our time in Ethiopia, we enjoyed a very scenic and varied drive to the Sudanese border at Metima. Again, the Ethiopian landscape was stunning at every turn, with mountains, valleys, waterfalls - and at last some completely smooth roads. A great way to finish our time in Ethiopia.
As all of us were pretty tired from last night's drive, along with the difficulties we had sleeping while the car was being bounced around on the rough roads. So we left it to Rainer to complete the driving in Ethiopia. Rainer, as the Cape to Cape Challenge Manager has got a huge amount of experience of driving on African roads which makes a real difference to how we can keep our average speeds up safely with the many challenges that these roads throw at us.
We reached the Sudanese border slightly ahead of schedule, only to be told that it was closed, and had been for the last 2 weeks. We could not get any explanation why. This really looked like it could spell disaster for our World Record attempt right there and then. But these things are never just left to chance, and thankfully our Sudanese 'fixer' Midhat was waiting at the border to meet us. After some involved discussion with the officials, he somehow got our crossing approved, and we were waved through the checkpoint into Sudan, the only vehicle to get through for 2 weeks.
Disaster averted, Midhat will now be one of a team of 4 locals to escort us through the whole length of Sudan through tonight in high-speed convoy with our Touareg in a Volkswagen Amarok kindly supplied for this job by Volkswagen Sudan.
We will update you tomorrow morning with our trip through Sudan to the capital Khartoum then North out into the empty Sudanese desert headed for the Egyptian border.
As a quick further update, we let you know a couple of days ago that our route-logging tracker on the website had failed to capture the first part of our journey through South Africa. Well, it has now been updated by manually inputting the correct GPS data collected from our other Inmarsat tracker so that it now accurately logs the whole route so far.