旅する映像 569日目 スーダンを好きになりはじめた日



スーダンが好きになりはじめた1日。長かった1日。日の出とともにハルツームを出て、北東部のアトバラの街へ。お昼前に到着し宿を決め、滞在許可書を申請しに、迷いに迷って警察署へ。唯一英語の出来るオジさんに尋ねると、なぜか署内小会議に発展。結果必要ないということになり、宿に戻ってヌビアのピラミッドへ向かう。キビキビ動く自分たちに感心しながら150km南の遺跡を目指す。伝えたつもりが伝わってなかったバスの運ちゃんに訴え、窓から見えたピラミッドの前で無理やり下車。砂漠の一本道に佇み、遠くからやってきた2頭のラクダにまたがる。ピラミッドに到着するも、今日中にアトバラに戻るなら、あと30分ほどで戻らないとバスが走らなくなると聞き、入場を断念。柵の外から眺めて無理やり古代気分を感じ、ラクダに乗って道路へ戻る。バスを無理やり停めようにも、全然来ない。帰れないかもと思い出した頃、ヨメがすべての車に手を振り出す。するとまさかの巨大トレーラーをゲット、人生初ヒッチハイク。アメリカに輸出するというゴムの原料を積みに積んで時速40kmしか出ないトレーラーの中で、運ちゃんと世界情勢とスーダン経済について大いに語り、思い出のプレゼントを渡しあう。数時間後到着したアトバラの郊外で、運ちゃんの叔父さんを紹介され、皆で今生の別れに抱き合う。宿にたどり着き、受付のオジさんによく帰ってきたとなぜか褒められる。そして隣の青空レストランで羊肉を焼いてもらい、今日1日を振り返る。長い。文章も長いが、1日も長かった。でもその長い1日を無事に終えられたのは、たくさんのスーダンの人々のおかげだった。どこかしこで、必ず誰かが助けてくれた。トレーラーの運ちゃんなんかは、別れるとき寂しかった。思い出深い1日。楽しかった1日。

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DAY 569 : THE DAY I CAME TO LIKE SUDAN
It was the day I come to like Sudan. A long day. We left Khartoum for the Northeast town, Atbarah, right after sunrise, arrived there before noon, found a place to stay and checked in. And then we went to the police station to apply for residency permit which turned out to be unnecessary after a short discussion among the officers, and then back to the hotel and get ready for the Nubian pyramids. While surprisingly quick things got done, we were already on the way to the monument valley 150km southward by buss. Because of the miscommunication with the buss driver which almost caused us passing through the site, we had to jump off in front of the pyramids. Walking on a dessert road, we found two camels and jumped on them. It was after we arrived that there was only a half an hour left for us to wander around in order to catch the way back to Atbara. Although we gave up to go inside, tried to put ourselves in an ancient mood by just looking through the fence and took the camel ride back to the street, a buss just didn't come. In fear of being left alone here, my wife started waving at every automobile passed by. And luckily, we succeeded our first hitchhiking and got a huge trailer which transferring containers full of lubber to export to the US. Inside the slow vehicle that goes 40km, we talked about the world situation and Sudan economy and exchange presents. After a couple of hours we finally arrived Atbara. The driver introduced us his uncle and gave us a hug. At the hotel, the guy at the reception was nicely surprised that we actually made back and made us a welcome BBQ lamb. Having the lamb and looking back, it was a long long day indeed. So many things happened and so many people helped us overcome each difficulties. I seriously felt desolated when we said goodbye to the driver. It was a memorable and joyful day.

"Khartoum → Pyramids of Meroe → Atbara"