2 April 2010

Suakin in Sudan

Within a few days we are in Khor Nawarat in south Sudan, a beautiful reef with good anchorages, and from there it is a pleasant sail along the coast and through Shubuk channel to reach the (small) port of Suakin. The anchorage for the yachts is next to the 'old city' and in passing by 'old Suakin' we get the impression that an earthquake has taken place: a few battered minarets tower above the rubble of ruins and damaged buildings. A great photo opportunity!

In the 'new' city of Suakin the houses don't look so much better, although quite some people seem to live here. We imagine ourselves in the decor of an Arabic film: men walk in long white robes with brown or black sleeveless vests, most of them wear a turban. Also some women on the streets, well wrapped up, but not only in black, there are red and pink garments and one or two ladies with a printed shawl. The men sit on the verandas of their neglected houses or walk in pairs. Most transport of sacks and iron water tanks is done by donkey and donkey carts. Only at the end of the main street, past the small and busy market, there is the parking place with workshops, small restaurants, busses, taxi's and tuk-tuk's. It s really a shame the people don't allow us to take pictures of them: they start screaming and walk away as soon as we take our camera in our hand, because also they have a sharp eye on us, of course!

By taxi we visit the bigger town of Port Sudan, a ride of about an hour on a good bitumen road through the desert. Near Suakin still some neighbourhoods with wooden and corrugated iron hovels, often near a little bit more 'luxury' small mosque, but further on areas with only sand and every now and then some shrub, some camels and one or two people with donkeys. Sudan is an African country with quite dark people and a lot of Arabic influences because of immigration from other Red Sea area's. In the market in Port Sudan the salesmen do their best on the presentation of the fruits and veggies.

Slideshow Suakin