29 settembre è una bella data per inaugurare la stagione sudanese. Grandi le possibilità di divertirsi a Mesharifa con le mante. Alta la probabilità di incontrarle per quanto vicini siamo ancora all’estate… Le più belle immersioni del North nell'itinerario "ONE WAY": Angarosh, Merlo, Abington, Rumi, Sanganeb, Umbria

sabato 29 dicembre 2012

P.Sudan, some information about the city


Some information about the city, just to give an answer to all the questions our guests often ask us… 

Port Sudan is the capital of the Red Sea State, it’s the main port of Sudan. The number of inhabitants is about 500.000 even though it’s quite difficult to be precise, due to the quantity of nomads, the periodic migrations and a large number of precarious houses nearby. The city has been built around the beginning of the Twentieth Century by the English, as the port of Suakin began to be inadequate as dimensions, because of traffic of transport ships. Port Sudan rose on the shores of a big Marsa, a natural port, a big bay, connected to the see by a natural canal deep between 18 to 26 mt. At Port Sudan building material is imported while exported cotton, gum Arabic, oily seeds, pelts and senna. 
Wadi Arbat
 Sudan is the major producer and exporter world-wise, we are talking about over 70% and it’s even of the best quality. At Port Sudan there is an oil refinery, a small airport but international, just a few Km. South from Port Sudan there is the terminal of an oil pipeline, 850 Km. long, between the port and the West side of Kahrtoum city, completed in 1977. The weather at Port Sudan is almost desert, it takes freshwater from Wadi Arbat, a valley where rainwater is collected into a river at about 80 Km. NW the city. Therefore it’s a “young” city, there are no ancient buildings, or just a few, British ones, colonial style. Walking around, looking at the upstairs of the palaces in the city centre, you can spot wooden balconies, windows with masharabie, you have the feeling of the past, everything a little bit glazed of sand, neglect and decay. The meat and vegetable market, well remembered by all guests to be very multicoloured and characteristic up to 4 years ago, has been burned to the ground. In its stead, a parking space has been built. 
A real pity, it was really nice and particular, considered a little the heart of the city, lovely destination of walk around the people. Nowadays the market has been moved outside the city centre, in a big area surrounded by a wall, making even the Sudan people unhappy as they find it quite far and uncomfortable. It’s hard, in a situation of backwardness, understanding how useful and necessary is to safeguard the past, nevertheless nearly impossible to invest capital in order to preserve or restore memories and architectures. 
Instead, the arcades remain the same: the one of the dressmaker, intent on tailoring galabia using old Singers, small groceries full of any sort of goods, shops selling mobile phones and “made in China” glasses, coffee shops, corners where people trade goods on the edge of the pavement, Bija women selling the characteristic coffee makers, nomads selling swords and knives. Over the last past years, several public works took place, roads and sidewalks have been paved, the electricity is more continuous and widespread, even along the walk on the port that in the evening looks like a sitting room: people sat chatting and getting some fresh air, women selling tea on really small stand, a pair of billiard tables surrounded by young people. Streets are kept clean. Fish market has been moved outside the city towards North, under a shed by the sea. The Ape exponentially increased: only with 2 Sudanese pounds,
corresponding to about 40 cents, you can ask to be taken to the markets or have a tour around the port on the seashore. The last day, before departure, at the end of the cruise, it’s in the habit to take a walk with the guide or someone of the crew. It is advisable to do it, as it’s interesting to have, even if for a short time, a contact, a vision of the people, of the Country. It’s possible to move around by using the Ape, or simply have a walk. It’s even possible to take some nice pictures, without interfering with the locals, just asking for the consent before taking the photo in case you’re portraying them. You need to be aware that you can’t photograph women. 
Comboni church
If you are wise enough to establish a contact, everything’s easier, sometimes a smile is enough, especially at markets. Stacked fruit, accurately exhibited as jewels, fleeting appearances of very coloured women’s tops, inspirations are so many. Even if, we have to admit, the general impression will be of hospitality and at the same time of deep poverty. For those who could have any interest, we can go to meet Father Luigi at the mission of the Combonians Fathers, a lovely person, brave and bright, full of interests. He takes care of a mission and next to it a nursery school, a primary school, middle and high school. Past time, the Government shows interest and willingness towards tourism, trying to involve everybody in the evenings, especially on Fridays, with concerts and entertainments, during mostly the whole season. If you get into the port the evening before departure, it could be nice going for a walk. Since Spring 2012, an Emergency children’s hospital has been inaugurated, and even this centre can be a destination for a visit: it’s not far from the city centre and it would represent a tribute to courage and the ability to build and manage a jewel of generous humanity in the middle of nowhere, in the poorest suburbs of the city.
Emergency hospital
 Leaving the city centre towards the suburbs, Southbound, little by little, houses become huts, then hovels and wooden shacks and made of a material found here and there, poverty increases as well as life conditions in general. At the periphery, we are surprised even by fields, palms and small irrigation ditches, an oasis in the sunny desert surrounding the city. We even found a beautiful farm for the production of fresh milk as well as meat, veal, lamb and sheep. The latter, considered so rare to be highly requested by the Saudi markets. A beautiful farm on the fringes of the desert. Such a walk, as a perfect occasion to see a slice of the African land, guests respected by a kind population, will enhance the welcome you will find on top of our boats, you will be able to understand how great our comfort is among such a diversity of lives and cultures, you will comprehend how hard it is to keep it and how big our fortune is: to be able to travel and sail on such a beautiful sea, when all around so many people still has to face pure survival.

click one time on a first photo to see the album  


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