Flights went smoothly and I arrived in Khartoum without a hitch. Saw a beautiful lightning storm over the Mediterranean as we approached Cairo. After waiting for an hour for their visa office to open they finally found the keys underneath some papers on a desk. Bicycle didn’t come on my flight which caused a little panic, this was resolved later when it came on the next flight. On unboxing my bike I found that the front quick release was missing, likely slid out in shipping, but was able to source one from a generous rider. Hotel is impressive. Very clean. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Speak about a dozen languages between them. Caters heavily to foreigners. Seem to be a lot of archaeologists digging hours around here. Things aren’t as cheap as I assumed they would be, though prescription meds are apparently quite cheap and easy to get. Amoxicillin, cipro, topical antibiotic all for 7 dollars. Bizarrely juxtaposed to the general state of the city, there is a new shopping centre that could easily pass for one in the west. After being a hermit trying to get over the exhaustion of travel and jet lag (8 hour difference) I eventually ventured out to see the city a little though didn’t manage to catch and if the touristy sites. The last couple of days have been filled with rider meetings and sorting out last minute shopping. Everyone is quite friendly, both the Sudanese and the riders. After you get over the initial culture shock and understand the vibe of the city it really feels quite safe (watch out for cars!). Tomorrow will be our first cycling day consisting of a 20km convoy out of the city with another 60-70km of riding afterwards. The three days after are each around 145 as we make our way to dongola where we have our first rest day.