Leaving Sudan was more painful than we hoped it might be. Drove to the border and camped about 3 hours from the border literally just off the road. Cooked dinner and half of the group had gone to bed and the rest of the group were shooting the breeze around the embers of the fire when a vehicle arrived with 7 people who were supposedly police/military people. A conversation relating to our safety and the fact that there were lots of dangerous animals around and they wanted us to sleep at the police station. No was not an answer they were willing to take so at 10pm we broke camp drove 15 minutes and reset up camp and finally got to sleep in a supposedly safer spot - we think they just wanted to show us off to the town, despite it being midnight.
Next morning we started at 6am by being taken to an office where we had an argument over our photos and the legality of having taken photos. Turns out we ran into a twenty year old on a power trip who then made us sit around for 4.5 hours whilst he and his buddies wrote down our names and nationalities continuously and then wanted to see all of our photos - including whatever photos were on the card, not just Sudan, about 3 or 4 times for each camera. He informed us that he was the equivalent of CIA in Sudan and his agency had not given permission for us to take photos and that it was not good enough to just have the tourism bureau photo permit that we had paid 10USD for. He then decided that all photos we had taken in Sudan had to be deleted! Thank goodness for technology as we had all backed up to our laptops the night before and even went out to the truck and changed our memory cards - luckily the twenty year old was not very savvy on technology :)
We finally got to the border about 5 hours after we had hoped to be there and got through the border relatively quickly after another stop at the security office due to Yuma not taking notice of the instruction not to take photos at the border... in the end we were happy to see the back of Sudan.
Drove into Ethiopia and the landscape immediately changed into hills and lush foliage with lots of waving and smiling locals. The girls were also suddenly dressed in very western dress and we were not required to cover up quite so much. Couldn't get all the way to Gondor so stopped for the night about an hour past the border and camped in the driveway of a hotel. We had showers and a toilet, but to be honest the drop toilet stunk so much that you had to wrap your scarf three times around your mouth and nose and breathe through your mouth - going to the toilet is the thing that occupies much of our time and stress levels rise when we are faced with situations we are not comfortable in... we have already started wishing for some more bush camps so that we can dig our own hole and relax.
12 days now in Ethiopia and beer is back :)