Tue, Jul 29, 2008 - Page 16 News List

[SOCIETY] Three men, three motorbikes, one dream

Two Canadians and a Briton are undertaking a motorbike odyssey across Africa. Despite initial concerns, they are convinced Sudan could become a tourist hot spot

AFP , KHARTOUM

They are a week behind schedule and need to get to Cape Town in time to fly back for medical school and work. They’ve been away for a month and a half, but at 10,100km have completed only two-fifths of the route.

Smith likened one hotel they stayed in — apparently the best in town — to a POW camp with cell-like rooms where they awoke “absolutely sweltering” because the air conditioning had conked out in a power cut.

Despite having just one guidebook, they are finding their way without GPS and stumbling across tourist gems quite by chance — such as lazing under palm trees next to an ancient Egyptian temple after lunch.

Sudan’s attraction was being able to realize the dream of getting off the beaten track — the trio’s blog is at www.ditchthecomfortzone.com. But from Wadi Halfa to Dongola they also witnessed Sudan’s march to development on the back of oil profits.

“You can see that in a couple of years that (new road) is going to be finished. You won’t need any of the dirt bikes that we’ve kitted out — you can do it on anything,” said Smith.

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