Leaving the coffee houses of Cairo, I postponed the trip south to Sudan by a brief séjour north to the fish of Alexandria. I wanted to make the most of one last opportunity for fresh sea-food on the Mediterranean before heading into the arid heart of Sudan, and then east to Ethiopia. I presumed that good fish would be off the menu until (or if) I reached the Kenyan coastline.
How naïve I was. The Nile is a huge source of fish, and the Sudanese know how to serve it.
“England. Fish & chips?” other travellers would often say to me when talking about British cuisine. In spite of my societal roots, I shy away from the floppy, fried offerings that many a street corner proposes, hunting out the fresher, grilled fare with a dash of spice & plenty of freshly squeezed lime.
The river is being tamed, though. Oil revenues mean investment in infrastructure is booming, with new roads, bridges and dams being built. The bridge that now links Karima & Merowe, the town on the opposing bank of the Nile, has rendered the ferries obsolete. They now stand aground, rusting amongst the verdure of the river’s banks and the fishermen repairing their nets.