Day 12: Karima – cruise along the Nile - Bayuda Desert – Atrun crater
We stop in town to stock up. Then we take a suggestive cruise along the river among the remaining rocks of the 4th Cateract and exploring, through little walks, the small islands and sandy beaches along the Nile. Arriving on the other shore of the Nile we will meet the cars to reach the site of Nuri where several pyramids stand out near the mighty river. Among these we find also the one of the great Taharqa. Little walk among those ancient ruins and then we start the crossing of the Bayuda Desert, the area bounded by the loop formed by the Nile between the 4th and the 6th Cataract and characterized by sharp black basalt mountains, most of them volcanic and typically cone-shaped. They alternate with level pebble stretches and large valleys crossed by dry wadis, where little vegetation can be seen. It is very likely to meet isolated groups of Hassanya e Manasir nomads, who live in familiar groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to the rare water wells, with their caravans and herds of camels and cattle. Just in the centre of the Bayuda Desert we reach Atrun Crater, where nomads gather salt from the edge of a green colored pool. They collect the salt and load it on camels or donkeys, then move in small caravans to sell it into the markets of the villages along the Nile. An incredible work that remained the same across the centuries. We then look for a nice place to camp. Dinner and overnight in wild camp.