“Neehow”, the little boy waves hello from the side of the road, “Neehow” I think to myself is not Arabic, the Sudanese language or English, “Neehow” is Chinese. The newly updated road surface here in Sudan is a familiar delightful site.
A road built for exportation and a quick delivery of oil and goods or a bicycle tourist heading across Sudan on her way to Capetown, South Africa. During the recent world economic collapse, China put money into their domestic economy and under communist rule put people to work building roads within China. China’s economy bounced back. Trained Chinese construction workers, civil engineers and architects were then sent to build roads throughout the world, “Neehow” new superpower.
Sudan checkpoint police man catching some shade in his new hat
Sudan contains a wealth of resources and has an important location next to the Red Sea. Port Sudan is the waterway exit of oil and the transportation hub out of NE Africa. Some superpowers have ruled through military force while China quietly builds an empire of development and the necessary infrastructure. Cell tower construction is also rampant throughout Sudan. Villagers are relocating their homes next to cell towers. Homes of Nubian Desert grass, cement, clay and tarps are popping up next to cell towers throughout the region. Men now ride their camels and donkeys leading herds throughout the hills while chatting away on their “mobi” cell phones as I cycle past having left such technologies happily behind.
I have cycled throughout China and it’s borders roads (border roads of Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tibet) on this around the world tour and it is safe to say China builds phenomenal roads for cycling. Roads with fresh fast new tarmac, spacious safe shoulders, two wide lanes for oncoming traffic and hill grades of symmetrical switchback portions for wonderful mountain climbs. “Neehow” China, keep up the good road work!