December 5, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C
We left Lake Bunyonyi at 9am to travel to Rwanda where we stay for a few days. As we’re fairly high, the weather is a bit chilly; not at all you’d expect from being on the equator. Several of the guys are on gorilla trek today and will join us later in Rwanda.
I slept by a log last night, the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years. This is because of my exertions from yesterday. I slept from 10:30pm last night to 7am this morning with a barely remembered wee break at 4ish. I feel no side effects except a slight to moderate twinge in the knees when doing up or down steps. But, I’ve always had that, this is more pronounced but the pain is absent when stationary, which I am most of the time.
As we were departing later than usual, I had time for a leisurely breakfast, forest Kenyan coffee with my cafetiere, toast with peanut butter and jam topped off with fresh pineapple, delicious.
The scenery along the way is quite spectacular with lovely shots of the valley and Lake Bunyoinyi as we ascend the mountains for the Rwandan border. All the hills are terraced and used to grow tea, coffee, sorghum, sweet potatoes and many other crops. It seems very lush and fertile.
I can’t help thinking that this was once virgin rainforest and trees once inhabited by wild animals. The relationship between land and human versus animal populations. But that’s a worldwide conversation, I guess. My own country, Ireland, was once covered in forests, which were largely cut down to build ships for British navy. Now Ireland has the lowest tree cover in Europe and the State is embarking on a massive reforestation project but opposed by local vested interests.
Uganda has a smart solution to this problem. See last entry for information on this.
The border crossing was idiosyncratic, to say the least. The usual procedure is to to exit and then get stamped out of one country, walk through no-man’s land and enter and get stamped into a new country. In a way, this happens here but seems very haphazard. There is no no-man’s sector and buildings are scattered around and it takes a while to work out the system. However, as always, border personnel are always very helpful and pointed us to the correct window. With the benefit of hindsight, it makes sense now.
The first thing we had to do was pass a health station to reduce the spread of Ebola disease. There was a trough, with automatic proximity switches, where we washed out hands. Then we went to another station where a smiling woman health worker stuck her gloved hand through a barred window to point a gauge at our head to take our temperature. Mine was 38.6 so they let me through.
Once we got back on our truck and back on the road again, we noticed a few differences between Uganda and Rwanda. Although I’m sure there are many more, we noticed these immediately. They drive on the right hand side of the road here, French language signs are beginning to appear and the place looks more prosperous than the area of Uganda we had just left. And, we discover later, the clocks go an hour back.