Our home for 2 nights is a guest house in the reasonably large town of Karima. This area has Unesco World Heritage status due to the many ancient sites dotting the area. Dinner on the first night was at the local market where we had falafel and salad, stocked up on cold water and then headed back to our lodgings in the shadow of Jebel Berkel, an Uluru-like mountain on the edge of town.
Jebel Berkel was thought to be the home of the god Amun by the ancient Egyptias and Nubians and so was sacred ground for them. Up early we walked towards the mountain to visit the Temple of Amun which faces the Nile in the distance and originally had a corridor of rams leading to the river. That must have been quite a sight. Nearby is the Temple of Mut, dedicated to the Egyptian sky goddess, and covered in painted frescoes. This dates from around 600BC. Outside this temple are columns dedicated to Hathor, goddess of music, dance, love and fertility.
Back in the truck we drove to see some more pyramids from the Meroitic period. Why they are here is a mystery, though one theory is that this area was once the religious centre of the kingdom so members of the royal family wanted to be buried here. Also we visited Alkuro, the oldest necropolis in the area dating from the 7th century BC. Two tombs have been preserved and in one of them you can walk down the hidden steps into the burial chamber and see the frescoes on the walls depicting scenes from the Egyptian Book of the Dead - the colours are still vibrant even after all these years. The tomb we saw was for the King Tanwetamani. Driving back to Karima we stopped off at a petrified forest, dating back millions of years. You would swear there were logs which had been cut by chain saw, but they were all stone!
We had lunch back at the market (fish and salad), then home for a siesta while it is so hot.