This is part of the Seventh section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Tanzania or read our previous
visit to Uganda
10/11/00 Ugandan visas available at the border $US 30.00 and no payment for the motorcycle. We are still using the old carnet which expired on the 1/11/00 (no-one notices the date). We don't think the new carnet with its 25 pages will be enough for all the border crossings ahead, so by using the old carnet we are saving pages. The last three days travel have seen us move through an entire crop season. From tilling the soil in the south to harvesting maize and beans today. Moving from gradual slopped sided potholes rounded by vehicles on a dry road at the beginning of the wet to the difficult steep sided puddle potholes at the end of the wet. Crossed the equator again just south of Kampala.
11/11/00 Visited Nis Uganda where two Dunlop tyres awaited our arrival. Dunlop Germany again came through to deliver us free tyres any where in the world. Again the old tyres are not fully worn out but we thought it best to have new tyres to cross the difficult roads of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The local newspaper also spotted our motorcycle and should publish an article in the next few days.
12/11/00 A service on the motorcycle, all oils and filters. Updated the web page and relaxed.
13/11/00 Tourism is again dead in Uganda. Last time we were here it was from killing eight tourists by Congo Rebels and this time it is from the outbreak of Ebola. 105 people have died out of the 313 who have contracted the disease and they are still getting about 12 new cases each day. The centre of the outbreak is about 300 km north from Kampala but minor outbreaks have occurred elsewhere but not spread. People are free to move around the country so its containment is not assured. There is minor concern verging on panic here like when a lady travelling on a mini-bus sneezed and had a nose bleed, people started to jump out of the windows and door before the driver could bring the vehicle to a halt. Visited the French Embassy for C.A.R. visas and were asked to return tomorrow for an interview.
14/11/00 Well surprise, surprise, the system actually worked. The visa applications we made in Lusaka, Zambia, had been to Gabon and C.A.R. and were forwarded to the French Embassy in Uganda. Even better they had been approved and were just $US 20.00 each and available tomorrow. In the afternoon we collected two new Dunlop tyres with us removing and replacing the wheels and Nis Uganda fitting the tyres. With most of the uncertainty about our route to West Africa now removed it's down to repacking the motorcycle and buying food and extra equipment (machete and rope) for the expected difficult terrain in Congo.
15/11/00 From numerous times of coming off the motorcycle, twice heavily, we had bent the crash bars and weakened them. Nis Uganda were able to assist us in strengthening them in their workshop, cutting pipe to slip over the existing bars for added strength. Western supermarket type products in Africa are generally more expensive than in the west. Most are imported and not manufactured in the region. Even those made in Kenya or South Africa, the two major manufacturing centres, are expensive in Uganda and the range is limited as are the numbers and size of supermarkets. Some of the best stocked shops are those attached to petrol stations. If you can afford the car and petrol you can afford the western produce.
16/11/00 It has rained here every day for our week long stay. Just showers, but the air is saturated and our washing not drying. Backpackers hostel, where we are staying, has provided us with valuable information on the route to take and what to expect. John, the Australian expat even arranged a farewell dinner at his favourite upmarket chinese restaurant where a group of ten people we had met here wished us well.
17/11/00 Ebola is waning, of the 329 cases there have been 114 deaths, 191 recoveries and 24 cases still undecided. There have also been no new cases for four days. Still, travelling through the town of the last outbreak today, Masindi, we only stopped for petrol and directions. Apparently a lady ran away from hospital, returning home only to subsequently infect her daughter, husband and mother who also died. A big problem is the ritual of washing the dead by all the relatives who then wash their hands in the same bowl, effectively spreading the disease. Onto Butiaba, a fishing village on Lake Albert, obviously prosperous before independence, now with colonial buildings in disrepair. We were stopped at Wanseko as the ferry north to Pakwach has run out of diesel, four days ago, and awaits supplies. So it's bucket cold showers and long drop toilets from now till, well it will probably seem like eternity. It's rumoured the ferry will arrive tomorrow.
18/11/00 Well the ferry didn't arrive this morning, and who knows when. We decided to take the road through Murchison Falls National Park and encountered a $US 50.00 fee whether we were transiting or visiting. Our complaints went unheeded until the representative of the German aid, who is funding the Park's upgrade understood our concerns and offered a personalized boat trip to the falls as an offset to the inequitable charge. A magnificent river in full flood emptying out of Lake Victoria on its way to lake Albert before becoming the Nile River and visiting Egypt. The entire river crashes through a seven metre wide gorge. Downstream the banks are littered with hippo and enormous crocodiles with buffalo grazing the swampy edges. We motorcycled the now improved road to the top of the falls for an even more spectacular view before camping the night in the park.
19/11/00 Pakwach to Arua after clearing the park for 170
km of dirt. Slow going and we didn't arrive at the border till 2 pm after
leaving at 7 am.
Move with us to Democratic
Republic Of Congo
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