A little south of Abri, for many travellers the wonderfully evocative Egyptian temple of Soleb is the highlight of the journey between Dongola and Wadi Halfa. It was built in the 14th century BC by Amenhotep III, the same pharaoh who gave us Luxor in Egypt, and the design and carvings are similar. It features a sanctuary and a hypostyle hall that consists of massive columns with elaborately carved capitals and splendid relief carvings.
It's not just that this enormous temple is visually stunning, but getting to it is a right rollicking Boy's Own adventure. This involves getting to a hamlet that's about 4km south of the east-bank village of Wawa, finding the boat man (S£100 return with waiting time) at the Abdu Rabbo Guesthouse and puttering across an especially beautiful stretch of the Nile. Once on the west bank walk through the palm groves and there, on the edge of fertility and desolation, sits the temple.