The S.S. Sudan

Although it is quite chilly here – well comparatively at 19 c. and windy – we are being thoroughly spoiled. Amir the manager is most attentive – we all received flowers in our staterooms ( which appears to have put the french women on board into a collective snit) and gave Wendy a lovely pendant as a returning gift! My red hair is having its usual effect on the staff and I have been known to take advantage shamelessly. The ship is a delight; all polished mahogany and brass fittings, an elegant bar and waiters in purple embroidered galabeyas. Our rooms are small of course but kitted out in Edwardian splendour – it took me at least five minutes to figure out the shower system and there is a functional rotary dial telephone on the wall!

Today we have a rather leisurely morning so a chance to write or chat or simply to watch the shore which finally does look like I expected. The river is wide and rather shallow with little islands appearing here and there – it keeps the pilot on his toes. Then there is a narrow band of green – fields and date palms; small herds of sheep or goats and the inevitable braying of jacks (I’ve never actually heard a female donkey bray but the males certainly have volume and range). Beyond the vegetation, ancient sandstone cliffs are crumbling down and I can just imagine the hidden tombs yet to be found!

Oh – have to dash – Amir has arranged a cooking class with the chef for us – and gain us another glare from the women sitting in the lounge. Oops!