I have completed the first two days of cycling in Uganda. The first day was from Kampala to Busunju, today I went to Kiboga. I hope to be in Hoima tomorrow.
Cycling here is a lot of fun but also hard, mostly because there is hardly a few meters of flat road, it’s up and down small hills all the time. This is the elevation chart of today’s route, the others look similar. Because of that I’m progressing about 1/3 slower than I have in most of the rest of this tour. The other problem is the rain I’ve written about in the last post. I have to be at my destination for the day by 2 in the afternoon because the heavy rain will start between 2 and 3. That of course limits the time I have available significantly, even when I’m on the bike right after sunrise.
At least the road is quite decent so far. Because the part between Busunju and Hoima has only been upgraded from dirt track to tarmac road a few years ago it is still in very good shape and has almost no potholes.
The hilly landscape has it’s beautiful sides of course. This is what it looks like 30 minutes after sunrise when the hilltops seem to float in a sea of mist.
Of course there’s children waving and shouting “Mzungu, Mzungu!” all the time. When I stop and tell people that I’m cycling all the way from Kampala to Hoima (I don’t mention the rest of the tour) they always express big admiration for the long way I am covering by bicycle. But you can clearly see the other question in their mind: why the hell would you do this? ;) Unfortunately most people here don’t know enough English for a more extended conversation and the same has to be said about my knowledge of the local languages so it usually stays at that.
While Kampala was already noticeably cheaper than Istanbul there’s another significant price drop when moving around here. I spent 1,30€ on food today, 2.90€ for a hotel room and another 2€ on bottled water and soft-drinks. Of course no big luxuries can be expected but that’s what’s available here… It’s a bit annoying that those guesthouses always seem to have a noisy bar in the same building. But after a long day of cycling falling asleep is not a problem even then.
I did have a really nice meal on the evening before I left Kampala. The cook of the Hostel where I was staying wanted to learn a few new recipes and in exchange for me writing some down for him I got to eat the results of his first trial run – which luckily turned out really good. Tonight I had the first Matoke on this trip. Now I can really say I’ve arrived in Uganda :)