I thought people might enjoy seeing the realities of traveling in Southern Sudan. There’s probably less than 20 miles of asphalt-paved roads in the entire country, and most of that is in Juba.
The rest of the roads are all dirt roads, and deal with the typical difficulties of flooding during rainy season, poor upkeep and potholes, and lack of funding to fix. Some of the bigger thoroughfares between big cities are contracted out by big donors and are actually in pretty decent shape. On the way from Yambio to Tambura, we were able to get up past 100 km/hr at places (!!!) and there were even road signs indicating curves and speed limits (ha). And when you arrive in Tambura, there is a sign indicating distance and town direction!
But then you have the less maintained roads, like those from Tambura to Wau, which look more like this.
Ok, that’s admittedly an especially poor part of the road. Most that we traveled on in this county look more like this (although we did go to more accessible parts, and our partner here has stories about roads that take 3 hours to travel 6 miles)
Yesterday our car troubles weren’t caused at all by the road, but by a blocked fuel pump filter (or something… with my knowledge of cars, that very well might be something I just made up). The first time we stopped, we managed to just push-start the car again and all was fine.
But later on when the car sputtered to a stop and couldn’t be push started again, sadness ensued.
Eventually we managed to get the car turned around and then towed it with the second LR back to the last facility. About a 2 hour delay, but could have been much worse.
In other news, our logistics coordinator in Juba took an unanticipated leave, and we’re not 100% sure that we’ll be able to get on our plane tomorrow out of Tambura. Fingers crossed the answer is yes, otherwise I might be stuck here eating mangoes for another week. Darn.