Friday, November 18, 2005

Dan, Francis and Leonie's Excellent Adventure

This is a sequel of sorts to Dan and Francis's Bogus Journey, which you may want to read first.

I finally got out of bed at about 5:30 AM. I'd managed a whole 3.5 hours of sleep by then. Francis, Leonie and I were down at the front desk by around 6, but Leonie needed caffeine, and checking out isn't exactly a very efficient process, so it was after 6:30 when we finally hit the road out of Munyonyo.

Traffic was, of course, awful until we were about 10 km out Jinja Road from Kampala. Then things went better. We stopped at the Nile crossing near Jinja, and I took a few photos of the dam, then went back to the car, changed lenses, headed back toward the dam and was told by an exceptionally social "redtop" soldier (wearing a red beret) that photos of the dam were forbidden, so I put my camera away.

We stopped for fuel (seventy-something-thousand Ugandan shillings), then decided to check out Bujagali Falls, which are just downstream from Jinja. It was a nice little detour, and I took some photos. After that, we headed onward, through the construction areas and past all the things we'd missed in the dark on the way over. The trip was much nicer by day.

We got to the border around 11:30 - not too bad - and other than Francis having to pay a bit for keeping the car in Uganda longer than 5 days, everything went smoothly. A very nice contrast to our experience the weekend before last.

We stopped in Eldoret and topped off the tank (using Kenyan shillings, this time, after I changed some dollars) for the run into Nairobi. I took a photo of a traditional farm in the highlands along the way. Although we did come across one freshly-patched stretch of former potholes, route A104 showed little improvement overall through the highlands, and none at all between Nakuru and Navaisha, which we had to do after sunset.

We finally got into Nairobi around 9:30, after a mere 15 hours of travel - much better than the 18 it took us last time, but still far longer than people should really spend traveling in one day.

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