Hot springs, Dusty Roads, Good Friends, good times
21.01.2010 33 °C
It was an exciting moment on the evening of our second day at Lake Bunyonyi when the others arrived. They looked slightly off colour as I had told them it would be a 10km downhill after their 9hr bus journey but it turned out to be a HUGE uphill. (who would have thought a lake would be uphill from the nearest town?!)
The guys (Ben, Ben, Ronel and Vicci) quickly got into the groove despite a few early mis-haps: 4 punctures and a side wall split in The Hud's 'racing tyres'. A high speed tumble by both Vicci and Proz and the inevitable cycle short tan line on everyone.
On our second day together the group split and Pol, Rob, Beth and Miriam took a detour to put Miriam on a bus back to Rwanda. Leaving the GPS with the others was a definite mistake though – and resulted in our easy 50km day changing into a rather more challenging 90km day as we headed South for quite a while before realising we should be going North!
Us arriving at our destination... eventually!
We heard that the bus left from a specific point on the highstreet at 8am.... 3 ¾ hours later Miriam plus bike were packed onto her bus... we hope she did get to Rwanda... but if you are reading this Miri – send us a message! We miss you.
The 7 remaining cyclists reconvened at a slightly odd Hot Springs. We wish we had a photo of the 300 Naked African bodies sitting in the steaming puddle but the 600 African eyes watching us prevented us from taking a snapshot.
The mzungus decided to have their wash in the river by the Campsite, much to the amusement of the local population who crowded onto the Bridge 15m away.
Despite the campsite manager's extreme kindness (Samson) we got little sleep overnight and moved on at first light.
Samson and Ben P with fresh produce plucked for dinner.
Over the next few days we covered many miles of hilly dirt track
Passed Uganda's national bird, the crested crane, multiple times
and sailed past acre upon acre of vibrant green tea plantations interspersed with incredible native forest bustling with exotic birds and monkeys.
As we cruised down into the Savanna plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park the unforgiving sun beating on our backs reminded us that we had descended over 1000m during the past 3 days and were now approaching the equator. We pushed on to 'Fig Tree camp' motivated by thoughts of a cold beer and shower but on our arrival we found that 'Fig Tree camp' was in fact a park office. It did look out over the impressive chimp filled forests of Kyambura Gorge:
There were no cold (or warm) beers and even after some pitiful pleading no chance that we could camp there. It was another 25km to the nearest accommodation. Dusk was rapidly approaching so it was a rather nervous dash we made across the Queen Elizabeth Park keeping a keen lookout for Elephants, Lion and Buffalo.
To our relief we only saw the latter 2, at a distance, (but that shape in the grass could have been an impala!)