Thursday, March 27, 2008

Crossing the Equator

Morning at the Equator

Just a few metres south of the middle of the world...

Kabale, Southern Uganda

Our stalwart driver, the wonderful Ismail Kiganda, of African Eco Adventures

Arriving at Bunyonyi Resort - feeling welcomed by the sign-age...

A Bunyonyi Bird

Lake Bunyonyi, Southern Uganda

The Christina We Know And Love - First Time in a Boat IN HER LIFE!

The Binyavanga We Know and Love - Ever Connected...

Self Portrait at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

March 26, 2008 – Road Trip

We are met by Ismail Kiganda, who is to drive us south to the mountains and Rwanda.

- Into the Toyota Hiace at 6am.

- Exhaustion even before we slide the door closed. I’ve slept less than 5 hours for the last two nights.

- $100 USD for a tank of gas.

- Away we go.

Driving in Uganda is a unique enterprise. The roads are sometimes quite good, sometimes filled with massive potholes, and usually an unpredictable combination of both. Drivers weave around the crevices, and vehicles pass one another frequently. Sometime a vehicle will pass another vehicle that is already passing a vehicle. So: three cars or trucks going forward beside each other on a two-lane road, often with oncoming traffic. Add to this children walking; bicycles laden with jerry cans of water, or bananas, or passengers; cattle milling; motorscooters darting; INSANE bus drivers; and you have Ugandan traffic. And it all seems to work.

We stop for breakfast at 8am, just a few metres south of the equator. The sun is brilliant. So is the coffee. I have a muffin that Jonathan Swift could have written. It’s giant. And then we continue on.

Ismail is good. And he gets us to Lake Bunyonyi in Southern Uganda by 3pm. We weave our way over a final stretch of dirt road, up switch backs, past boys making gravel by hand with hammers, scattered over cliff faces, through terraced hillsides lush with vegetation, and finally down to the third deepest lake in the world. It is ravishingly beautiful.

This was Binyavanga’s idea. Christina says it earns him first billing.

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