As I made way way southwest, I encountered more hills, more dirt and more rain. The latter two combining to produce more mud. I have to admit, I am not enthralled by Uganda. the paved roads are terrible, with big potholes and the drivers are positively reckless. I was forced off the road several times by cars, trucks and busses. The shoulders consist of rocks and dirt so I almost crashed a couple times. Then, to avoid the danger, I took some dirt back roads, but because it rains almost every day the roads become impossible. I finally resorted to taking the bus a couple times.
Here is a couple views of the lovely Ugandan back roads after the rain.
I stopped for a night in a national forest and got this shot of a butterfly.
A view from the bus. Ugandans do not like their photo taken. Here, this woman is scolding me for snapping her photo without permission.
Southwest Uganda has a lot hills, bananas and bicycles. Put them all together and you get this common sight.
I love this photo. I titled it “woman and cow head.”
I got stuck in the town of Kabale when it rained all day. People get around cheaply using these boda bodas, even in the rain.
School kids in uniform.
The museum there had a mock up of an old Bakiga tribe hut. This guy was demonstrating how the witch doctors dressed.
I spent a couple days relaxing on Lake Bunyonyi, a beautiful spot. It is a deep lake, over 6500 feet. Here are some shots.
The market in a nearby town.
Well that pretty much does it for Uganda. I am 20 km from the Rwanda border. I can’t say I am sorry to leave Uganda. Except for rafting the Nile and Lake Bunyonyi, I did not particularly like the place. The roads are awful as I described earlier, as are Ugandan driving habits.
The other real annoying thing about Ugandans is they, like the Chinese, stare at strangers. You’d think I would be used to it by now but I am not. Whenever I passed through a small village everyone would stare and/or shout, “how are you?” or “Mzungu!” People would stop in their tracks as I went by, just staring. I try to ignore most people now, but I started muttering to myself, “what the f@ck are you lookin’ at.” You are probably saying, Kev, they are just curious and want to interact with a foreigner. I understand that, but after hearing, “how are you?” 500 times in a day, they also need to understand my rudeness.
Once when I was riding on a muddy road in a village I wiped out in the mud. Most people would be concerned if I was injured or needed help. In this village everyone started laughing and hooting at my misfortune. Hundreds of people had a big laugh. I was furious. Then, I had to make a small repair to my bike. For several minutes I worked on the repair, surrounded by about 40 people just staring at me. It took all my patience not to tell them to get lost. Maybe I am turning grumpy in my old age.
Look at it this way, Kev: you are providing a bit of amusement in their otherwise routine and somewhat drab and difficult lives. I mean, years from now, Mr. Uganda will be remembering something and telling Mrs. Uganda, “Remember when that was? It was just BEFORE Mzungu fell on his bicycle.” Mrs. Uganda will respond, “No, that was AFTER Mzungu fell.” And so it goes on and on. You’ve given them a checkpoint, an historical pigeon hole to place their memories of times past.
Love the pictures and the canoes and the kids. Have a great time in Rwanda and take your time. There ain’t much here waiting for you…
Hey Kev, been awhile, sounds like things are going pretty well for you all things considered. Love the photos and the stories. I think about you often and wonder where the heck you might be. Had a great laugh at the last story. I know how you must have felt, had a similar experience, not quite that extreme though. Peace, take care. John
P.S. We got 21 in. of snow on Apr. 22, you’re slogging through the mud, and I’m slogging through the snow.
Are you getting tired yet?
Or maybe you are just an zoo animal? I can only imagine that is how the zoo animals feel…but they are caged…you can come home.
What are YOU doing in Africa?…Exploring them, taking their pictures, looking at their lives?!
…if these people saw you as a stranger to be looked at…then you are not a very welcomed visitor…you were tolerated…that’s good…they didn’t help…but they didn’t HURT you either…that’s excellent. -smile- (The glass is half FULL, Kev, keep on keeping on!)