Monday, 4 November 2013

Heading towards Rwanda

We left Mweya campsite fairly early after a breakfast where we were joined by approximately 50 million mongeese.  They were followed by a tracker with a radio receiver, these are the most studied mongeese on the planet.  They are a joy to watch - hunting out insects in the undergrowth and the toilet blocks.

It's a long road South, heading through Mbarara and Ntungamo, rather than taking the more direct route.  We did this because we had heard that the straight road had suffered a lot during the rains and the main road was blacktop all the way.

However not long out of Mbarara saw the start of the most monstrous set of road works we have ever encountered.  There must have been 100 km of works as a UN funded project to improve the links to the DRC was in full swing.

What this means is that the road is considerable widened, to allow traffic to keep flowing while bits are blocked off to allow the workmen to get on with their job.  The temporary road surface is a bumpy mix of gravel, rocks and dust; and of course because this is Africa the rules of the road are a little more relaxed than elsewhere.

There's nothing quite as scary as meeting a speeding bus coming out of the dust as you try to over take a petrol tanker that looks like its burning industrial waste for fuel.

To compound the misery of the road works, there are more of the lovely Ugandan speed bumps - every couple of hundred metres.  For a hundred Kms!!  A real African massage, without any of the relaxation that a normal massage might induce.  Luckily I had made Karen drive this bit.

Eventually she tired of the stress (especially being followed by the Kampala Express "luxury" coach) and passed the driving duties back to me at Kabale.  And suddenly we were on the bit of the new road that had been completed - OMG it was beautiful, unlike the looks I was getting from my co-driver.

The road rises and rises up towards the highlands of the Volcanoes NP.  The scenery is spectacular and the views at times are just delightful.  Unfortunately, again we are trying to drive too far in one day, and have to try to reach the border before it closes.

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