Destinations / JOURNEY
A doctor finally comes in, looks me over and gives me a
shot, which temporarily quells most of the pain. They decide
to take me for X-rays. Toby is still with me helping but as
soon as they wheel me to the X-ray room the machine breaks
down, so back out I go. This happens three times, with Toby
laughing a little more each time. I am being rolled back and
forth from the emergency room to the X-ray room like some-
thing out of a Monty Python skit.
After a couple of hours of this, I decide I have had enough. I go
back to the hotel to try and recover there in silence and peace.
But for a tour and adventure leader like me, staying put
is not easy. After t wo days in the hotel room I decide, since
no bones are showing outside my skin and there does not
appear to be any internal bleeding, to try and see what
I can of the country any way. The ordeal of trying to get
home while in pain and sitting in a plane seat for 23 hours
seems impossible. The tour operator sends a car and before
I know it, I am off to meet the others from the small tour
group already up north. This was my seventh near-fatal
accident in my career and it seems like, if this is it for me, I
should go out with a bang.
The drive is long. We pass the scene of the accident in
silence; then, like life, we move on. I am in serious pain but it
feels good to see the desert outside the car window.
Back on the Road
It is good to be back with the group. We are in Sudan, the third
largest country on the African continent, for an exploratory
trip. Sudan is composed mostly of flat plains broken by several
mountain ranges and is an Arab republic in the Nile Valley
of North Africa. It is home to more than 30 million people.
The town we have just left is the capital and is located at the
confluence of the White Nile and Blue Nile before they join to
form the River Nile. Sudan is an exotic country, with friendly
and welcoming people. Driving through the desert is medita-tive. Seeing the nomads traveling along with their animals
takes you back to a bygone era. The Islamic religion here is
not as strict as in other regions. The women don’t cover their
faces and they readily speak to foreigners. Some houses in the
Nubian villages are painted and decorated with colorful patterns and flowers. Enthusiastic hospitality abounds; people
will often invite foreigners to visit their home and share a
meal or a cup of spiced tea.
We spend two days in a charming small hotel in Karima,
a small town on the right bank of the Nile, close to a famous
We began to swerve and the next thing I
knew, the vehicle began to flip over and over
again, glass flying all over inside and the
sound of metal hitting hard on the road.