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Pearls of Familiarity

Posted by on April 27, 2012

Turns out our quest to reach Uganda were a wet and wild one. Last night the rain poured down for hours on end and as the thunder rolled across the White Nile I was thankful that we were not on a cargo ship somewhere on Lake Victoria. Not that we didn’t get our fair share of downpours on the way here.

At the last minute we decided to drive the 230km from Kisumu to Jinja and skip the cargo ship. In Kenya it was a stunning sunny day with blue skies and happiness all-round, in Uganda it was a different story however. We had spent less time on the border than on previous borders after we decided not to buy the road insurance or pay import tax to get the bike into the country. We simply stamped ourselves in and followed a couple of Boda-Boda’s taking a shortcut around the checkpoint at the border and drove straight into the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda is familiar territory for both Guillaume and I and it is pleasant being back here, comparing landmarks and cities since the five and ten years respectively that we have been here. There hides a bit of relief in the familiar, just the idea of knowing where to go and a bit about what to expect brings comfort.

We saw the rain in the distance but just hoped we would escape it. That’s the strange thing about being on the road for so long, or maybe it’s just our distorted idea of optimism, we keep hoping – no matter how small the odds against us. We are hoping the war in Sudan won’t become too serious, allowing us to pass through there. We are hoping that in Egypt we will get a Schengen Visa even though we don’t meet a single one of the requirements. We are hoping one of Uganda’s armed policemen won’t ask us for the insurance at one of their many checkpoints, and we hope every day that the bike won’t break, even though it’s falling apart bit by bit. So here we were again, looking at the huge rainstorm in front of us, stretching as far as we could see in any direction, hoping that we wouldn’t get too wet.

When we reached the Nile we were soaked to the bone but the rain had disappeared and through the sunrays on the damp landscape and the heat pounding down on us, standing in the sun like wet dogs, I could feel Mother Nature laughing at us. My feet were resting in the puddle of water in my shoes, our jeans were drenched our bags and tent wet. But for now the sun was shining again and after three months over 7500km, seven border crossings and a lot of hoping we have made it to the source of the White Nile.

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