Archive for March, 2009

Goodbye Kenya. Hello Uganda

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I finally escaped Kenya. I can’t believe I spent a whopping 2 1/2 months there. That’s almost as much time as I spent in China. That should tell you I really liked the place. In fact, it is my favorite country so far. If you take one trip in your life, go to Africa. Everything is so…different. Kenya has great wildlife viewing, fascinating tribal communities, varied landscapes, modern cities, mountains, beaches, and the people speak English. Oh, and the ladies love white men too. The food is not the greatest and the parks can be expensive, but overall it’s a great place, except for the odd hotel thief.

I took a bus back to Nairobi from Mombasa, stayed a few days then caught another bus west to the city of Kisumu, on Lake Victoria. From there it was only a two day ride to the Uganda border.

I passed another milestone in western Kenya. My odometer rolled over 20,000 km for the trip so far. That’s just over 12,400 miles. Not as far as I thought I would go. I guess I am enjoying too many days off.

I got my photo groove back so more photos this time. Here are some final pix of Kenya.

Reading the newspaper in Mombasa.
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Waiting for the bus.
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Cleaning fish by Lake Victoria.
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Cardboard for sale.
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I mentioned the women seem attracted to white men. I was stopped by this policewoman who immediately began flirting with me. She wanted me to take her back to the USA. I said sure, just hop on the back of my bike. Her name is Beatrice.
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I also experimented with some black and white shots. Here is Beatrice again. Which looks better, color or B&W?
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Here is another black and white of a girl I met in Kisumu. Unlike many Kenyans she has perfect teeth.
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These two girls, aged 15, looked almost masculine with their short hair.  I have to admit I don’t like the look. But many kids have short hair to keep out the lice.
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Whenever I stopped people would crowd around and watch. These two women came by so I snapped this shot. The woman on the right snuck in the photo just as she was chomping on a stalk of sugar cane.
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Western Kenya is Obama country. Barack Obama’s family comes from this area, which is home to many Luo tribespeople. This school in the town of Kogelo was named after him. As  you might expect he is extremely popular in Kenya.
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Kids carrying water home from a well.
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Two women going home from church. They did not speak English so I don’t know what denomination they were. Well, they did speak one word of English: “money.” I had to pay them for the photo.
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A colorful flower.
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I was taking a leak when this woman appeared and stopped to watch. What is she laughing at?
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I liked the colors on these women.
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Typical road in western Kenya.
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Lots of sugar cane is grown in the area. I stopped in one small town to try some. The woman who sold it to me is scraping off the skin so I can chew on the stuff inside.
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Uganda

The crossing to Uganda was painless. After forking over $50 for a visa I was on my way. By the border were hundreds of these guys in pink shirts offering rides on their bikes, called boda bodas.
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Two hours in Uganda and I stopped for a beer at a pub. These two waitresses attached themselves to me and insisted I take a photo with them. I think I will like Uganda. My only complaint:  twenty thousand kilometers and I still have a double chin???!!!
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Storm clouds in eastern Uganda. I have been lucky with the weather on this trip. only a handful of rainy days. But the rainy season has started in East Africa so I expect to get wet in the next two months.
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These kids ran after me shouting, “muzungu!” as I passed them so I stopped to take their photo. They shrieked in delight at seeing themselves on the camera.
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I ate breakfast here one day. This guy makes chapati, a sort of fried bread tortilla, for a living.
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Here is my intended route in Uganda.
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Next up is a whitewater rafting tour on the Nile River. The source  of the Nile is in Uganda. I may even try bungee jumping over the Nile. Anyone ever done that?

More on Uganda, including the bloody regime of Idi Amin, next post.