Day 160 Uganda : Kampala - Masaka

Day 160 Uganda

Trip Distance 145 km (90 m) Total Distance 17583 km (10928 m)
Road Condition 100% tar    
Time to travel 4 hrs (Incl 1.5hr Kampala traffic)    
Cost of diesel USH2080 (£0.63)    
Stopover
Masaka
Masaka Backpackers S0 21.804 E31 42.873 USH14000 - cold showers (bucket of hot on request), flushing loos - basic but clean.  Great views, peaceful & friendly management.

It was with very sad hearts that we waved Anja and Jorg goodbye this morning but with plans to see them in SA at Christmas.

a_SG106402

With yesterday's traffic jam and chaos still fresh in our minds, we decided to take a trip to Shoprite to stock up on provisions before leaving for what we had initially planned as Fort Portal and Queen Elizabeth National Park.  And blow me down, if it didn't happen again - another horrendous traffic jam! 

DSCN0392 A normal secondary road for 2 lanes of traffic - 1 lane each way - converted into a 4 laned road

After shopping we made it back to Red Chilli, having decided to leave immediately, paid our bill and set off on the road to escape Kampala.  By 3pm (yes, that is correct!!!) we had manage to exit the city limits.  The next hour or so of travel was a bit tense and quiet but we arrived at the Equator crossing to celebrate our re-entry in the Southern Hemisphere.  Hooray! 

a_SG106408 Trevor insisted that for the photo we stand on the respective N or S -symbolic of where we'd been born :o)

An hour and a half of more relaxed driving later we found ourselves arriving in Masaka to thousands of motorbikes approaching us hooting, shouting and weaving in and out of each other (I took the photograph very quickly at the end of the motorbike procession so by this time most had gone passed us), people lining the streets ululating and waving white flags and others shouting at us to pull over .

a_DSCN0397 We, of course, thought the worst, and with the recent Kampala riots foremost in our minds, we checked our doors were locked (yes they were) and continued to drive in a straight line down the street ignoring all calls to pull over.  It wasn't until a police car and a pickup with 4 high ranking army officials passed by and told us to pull over that we did - just to make a quick 15 second assessment of the situation and decide whether to turn around or not.  When suddenly the Bugandan King, in his official vehicle, caught our eye, waved at us, smiled widely and passed swiftly on by.

a_DSCN0396 The King

After that the traffic thinned out immediately, the crowds dissipated ..... and we heaved a huge sigh of relief.  But we got out of town very quickly to find the camp site and hunker down for the night.  Turns out though, that that was the most excitement we were to see in Masaka. 

We'll remember it though for our very first royal wave!!!!

#1 gary on 9.26.2009 at 1:11 PM

So you got your touristy equivalent of getting your photo taken with goofy :)

But we're glad you got out of there ok, and back out on the road.

#2 Anja & Jörg on 9.29.2009 at 3:46 PM

Hiya both,

we are missing you terribly :´-( . We really enjoyed your company.

We are in Dar-es-Salaam now after 4 days of driving through Tanzania as you might have read in our blog.

Looking forward to diving in Zanzibar and hope to see you there again.

Stay in touch and drive safe,

Anja & Jörg

www.initiative-rueckenwind.de

***

Hi both, missing you as well....but we'll see you at Christmas hopefully :o) or maybe even Zanzibar.  Will keep in touch with details of diving as soon as we get it and pass them on.  J&Txx