Uganda, January 29, 2003
Two for one: cross the equator and the nile in one day!
|Today is was time for me to pack up and leave Kisumu for Uganda's capital, Kampala and the trip was an adventure, starting with the wait for the bus. Akamba, the bus company, promised me that the bus would leave around noon and arrive in Kampala before dark, but I should've known better, for this is Africa.
Who knows what can happen here with the horrible roads? Its not that the Kenyan government wants roads more suitable for anti-tank traps than mobility, but the last government, lead by President Moi, stole the country blind, mainly in road contracts. Therefore, it was no surprise to me to hear that the Akamba bus from Nairobi had run into some trouble.
That is if you call loosing the front windshield, as in it just fell out and shattered when the bus hit a particularly nasty bump, and then the back emergency door, requiring a passenger to hold the door on until the bus could limp into Kisumu, as 'some' trouble.
Nuladna. I accepted the insanity, and waited until the bus was fixed and we could go on, around 3pm, to Kampala, before getting my ass in gear. Once on the bus, I wondered about the truth-in-advertising laws in Kenya. This bus was billed as the luxury bus, well, when it had a windshield, but the TV monitors worked last in the Nixon administration, and don't even ask about air conditioning, especially when some genius decided to install wool seats. In Africa, on the equator!
While we were sweating along, I whipped out the GPS and made a toast when we crossed the equator. Soon the heat hit me and I slept until the Kenyan-Ugandan border. There, we walked across the border and got out stamps while the bus was searched, before starting again.
We didn't get far before we stopped yet again, this time to allow a family of baboons to amble across the road. Then the driver, late for arrival, whipped out his Michael Schumacher instruction manual and slammed on the gas. traditional huts, old-west looking stores, and fields of rice and sugarcane whipped past the window at 100 km per hour (the GPS does speed too!) while we sped West to Kampala.
We made good time, crossing the headwaters of the Nile River just after sunset and arriving in Kampala by 8pm, just in time for yet another taxi bargaining and hostel check-in.
Ah, the life of a traveler!