EAST AFRICA SAFARI 2017 – SEVEN

DAY 40 TUESDAY 17th JANUARY 2017. KITALE, KENYA

This was a day of relaxation and little more. A trip to town with Adelight, bent on shopping for her relative, Patrick’s son, Bright’s, school requirements turned into the usual lengthy excursion. I went to the internet cafe and was going to visit the museum but a short call on our phones (we turned out to be about thirty yards from on another!) suggested she was ‘almost done with shopping’. Huh, I have known Adelight now for five or six weeks and I should have known better! Instead of dragging round another several shops, I’d have had plenty of time to tour the museum at leisure!

Instead we bought plastic bags along with hundreds of other shoppers. It really seems like this, the horrible plethora of plastic bags, handed out in every shop by the million. None of them are recycled; most end up littering the countryside, killing the livestock through strangulation and polluting the continent. I am so looking forward to Rwanda, where plastic bags have been banned from the country. I feel I like the place already.

The top of my head is getting a bit burned, as always on these trips and now that my fine hair is a trifle thin. I wanted to buy a cap. I hate baseball caps, but they do serve this one purpose and are small to curl into my pocket, but I do NOT want the name of some American city emblazoned across my head. All of the caps available without words are red. Normally, I’d like that, my favourite colour, but right now I’d rather have a sunburned scalp than to be thought of – by anyone – as a Trump supporter! Red hats are OUT for the next four years. If I could find one with Obama across the front I’d buy it quickly, and be popular, for Kenya so much admires its most famous son, as I do too. All that I speak with are justifiably worried about what a Trump presidency will mean for the world and Africa. A vulgar bigot whose knowledge of the world is from building hotels, bullying business tactics, revengeful score settling and profit before anything – it doesn’t bode well for this continent.

In the afternoon I rigorously sifted through my few belongings, sorting out what can be left behind. I have NEVER travelled so lightly as on this journey. I doubt I can refine my luggage any further. My two pannier bags, zipped to their smallest bulk, are perhaps two thirds full, and the top bag is almost empty. With this I shall travel for three months. I do enjoy this stripping down of ‘stuff’ to the essentials. Most of the weight is supplied by two spare inner tubes and some tools. My bulkiest item is a pair of walking shoes.

Tomorrow, all being well, I shall write Uganda at the top of my diary entry. I am very much looking forward to being there.

DAY 41 WEDNESDAY 18th JANUARY 2017. SIPI, UGANDA

This is one of those nights when I have to write early – or I might not write at all. My very close friend Rico understands me rather well, I have decided. “Take the Suam road, it’s a remote border, very quiet. You’ll enjoy it!”

He knows I can’t resist a challenge…

On my now considerable African travels, I have made some pretty insignificant border crossings. Suam probably beats them all for informality. The officials seemed perplexed to find a mzungu on a piki-piki at their border. It was just dust and filthy old offices approached by clambering up embankments! No one seemed in the least concerned about my crossing between the two countries. Jonathan, on the dusty, scruffy Kenyan side, in a dingy, derelict office, stamped my passport and waved me off, going back to checking his phone, feet on desk. There was a broken old steel gate but I passed through an even more tumbledown wooden pedestrian gate and bounced over a small bridge on the dust road. It’d been dust for the previous ten miles or so.

On the Ugandan side I rode up a rocky footpath and parked on some scrubby grass. All the officials were in relaxed mufti – tee shirts and old trousers. One of them asked me to fill in a form and stamped my passport. I already had my East African visa. “Where now?” I asked, used to officious southern African borders. “Oh, up there…”, waving vaguely at some derelict huts a hundred yards off. I moved on, parked in the dust and clambered up a threadbare embankment to a filthy hut that said ‘Uganda Police’. A young man looked at me quizzically and went to fetch someone superior. No one had any uniform at all. A pleasant young fellow, Gerard, came, turned about a visitors’ book and indicated that I should fill it out. I was the first person to make an entry for seven days, and when I did make my entry, I asked what I should put under ‘comments’. “Whatever you like…” So I wrote, ‘tourist in Uganda’. “But what about my motorbike?”

“Well, you can go…”

“But I need to register my bike, a Temporary Import Permit? Insurance..?”

“Errrr, no… It’s a motorbike, you can go… Welcome to Uganda!”

So I went… Into Uganda. Apparently, with a bike registered in one of the East African states I can travel freely. I’ll purchase some third party insurance when I find a bigger town.

*

The road from Suam was appalling! 60 miles of serious trail riding on rock and thick dust. Dust as thick as this on a motorbike is like skiing. I admit I appreciated the light weight of this tinny little bike today as I slithered and slid on the wildly undulating road through such mountainous scenery. The views were spectacular, the rocky road connecting hundreds of small hamlets and villages of mainly round grass-thatched huts, banana trees and dry maize fields. Here and there a wayside town appeared in the dust clouds. Trucks trailed vast billowing clouds of heavy orange dust and so did I. People waved, children shouted in excitement. I don’t think they see many mzungus on this terrible road.

It took four strenuous hours to get from the border to Sipi, a slightly touristic place with some high waterfalls that cascade over the edges of the steep rocky escarpment of the Mount Elgon foothills. I have been circuiting Mount Elgon today, Africa’s fourth highest mountain. Below me to the right and north were huge vistas across endless plains from which rose gigantic pimples of volcanic peaks. The light shimmered, blue and limitless, the horizons lost in the bright African light. Sometimes my ‘road’ – a somewhat extravagant word for such a ghastly track – wound between tall forests, at others many a small village. By the time I reached the tarmac at Kapchorwa I was absolutely filthy, caked in red dust and exhausted – but somewhat satisfactorily so!

Kapchorwa was the first town of any significance and I had ridden 50 miles with no Ugandan money, for the border had been too backwoods to even have touts wanting to change money. This meant I couldn’t even stop and buy a soft drink on my four hour slog. At last I found a bank where I could use an ATM – with the help of the manager since the machine, it turned out, could not cope with a £200 withdrawal in the small banknotes of Uganda. There are 4300 Ugandan Shillings to the pound… “Try again, but only request 700,000, not 800,000 shillings,” suggested the kindly manager for my third attempt. At last I had money. It was now 4.30 and time to start the daily ritual – the worst part of my day – of finding a place to lay my very filthy red head for the night, preferably after a good long shower. Everyone at the bank was laughing at my disgusting state! Africans do enjoy a joke, so long as I enter into it; they’d be much too polite to laugh if I wasn’t amused too.

P

Sipi, said the cheery bank security lady, was six kilometres further on. No, said a stranger, joining our conversation in such an open, African way, it was 16 kilometres. Yet another passer by estimated 18. You never know here…

It seemed to be about 15km down the road, the waterfalls dropping quite dramatically over two high cliffs, but reduced to a fairly narrow spout in the intense dryness of the season. There are several guest houses around the falls. Immediately I was spotted by a ‘guide’ and recommended to look at a nearby place that I decided quickly was so derelict and dirty that I couldn’t face it, even for the £5 asking price. I rode next door to a smart place that wanted a ridiculous £50, and another place that was equally grotty for a fiver. Turning round, I clocked a small signboard for the Coffeeland Resort, pointing up an insignificant red dust track. It took a bit of finding but how happy I was to find it! It’s one of those wonderfully serendipitous places that sometimes turn up on my travels, way down grassy tracks, balanced right on the edge of a huge cliff with a spectacular view to the west over half Africa. It’s basic and simple but as soon as I rode in, and as soon as Precious showed me one of the few odd chalet rooms – earth floored with worn mats, two beds decked out in cheap sheets and blankets, but with a bit of flair and a lot of attention, I knew that this was the place for the night and maybe two. Precious is delightful (doubtless ending up in my next photo book after tomorrow!), Alex, who seems to run the place is attentive and charming. There seems to be only one lightbulb in the entire place and I washed off (most of) the red dust in a bucket of cold water. But neither Precious or Alex can work harder to attend to my every wish – so far a couple of Nile Special beers, a candle and supper on its way (I trust, although it HAS got to 8.45, almost my bedtime!). The sun set, the vast valley before me darkened, solar lights twinkle on the slopes, Venus dazzles to the west above the electric lights of far distant towns on the plains. A high wind has risen and rattles the zinc sheets on the roof and rushes through all the gaps in the Jerry-built walls of my odd room on the edge of the cliff. It’s delightful, in a homespun, very basic manner – just the manner I love, of course.

For 45 minutes I was joined by Tom and Helen, quite charming young locals; Tom trained as a forestry worker but now reverted to his own farming business and his father seems to be some sort of local governor. It’s such a delight to meet and chat so informally with total strangers, and feel completely welcome in their society. We’ve lost that gift in Europe.

Precious brought me the most delicious dinner. Fried goat meat, the best cooked I have had in ages, homemade potato chips, homemade coleslaw and half a succulent avocado. This place is utterly delightful! How fortunate I am sometimes, how privileged to find myself in these situations. The wind is blustering at gale force around the funny place, but my strange room – about ten feet by twelve, draped around the walls with assorted fabrics that hide the basic zinc and rough timber work of the structure, two beds with more drapes and a fine zebra designed (synthetic) blanket, various mats on the earth floor and long drapes over the (also homemade and immensely heavy!) patio doors that hide the astonishing, widescreen, panoramic, Todd AO vista of the rest of Uganda reaching for tens of miles into the sparkling western night.

A terrific end to a very hard, challenging (but achieved!) and fine day filled with waving people, fabulous views, tough roads, a quirky border crossing – and my first ‘new’ country since lovely Zimbabwe in 2012, my twentieth country on this wonderful continent and my 96th of the world.

“Aren’t you afraid, these places you go?” So often the question. The reality is SO different! The sincerity of my welcome tonight is humbling.

Just now a tap on the sliding door. Precious came to take away my plates. I am sitting in bed under the zebra blanket writing my diary. Precious is totally without artifice, completely genuinely simple and straightforward. There was no embarrassment for either of us, only a charming warmth and artless ease as we discussed what I would like for breakfast and how I will sleep soundly tonight with the wind roaring round the unique place in which I find myself. I am exhausted and not much will keep me awake this first night in Uganda…

DAY 42 THURSDAY 19th JANUARY 2017. SIPI, UGANDA

Once again I have shaken a hundred hands and been welcomed in dozens of households. I love this activity, to just wander in the villages with a local, in this case Alex, the intelligent supervisor of this homespun Coffeeland Resort. He’s a quiet, unpushy, charming fellow, unlike some of the so-called ‘guides’ I met last evening up on the main road as I was searching for a place to stay. What a piece of luck to persevere until I found this delightful spot. The ‘resort’ was built some years ago in memory of Alex’s great uncle, a professor and government minister, as a contribution to the family clan. But now most of the clan are living lives of relative luxury in Kampala and the cities and Alex, 29, who studied hotel management, has returned with determination to get the place back to form whenever he has money to invest. I must admit I like it the way it is, characterful and homely.

We chatted over my breakfast, sitting outside my strange chalet room with half Uganda before us. It wasn’t quite the restful night that I hoped for; the wind rising to a gale and blustering the roof sheets and anything loose. Then, quite late on, a guest arrived and took the room adjoining mine, through a wafer thin bamboo and fabric wall. He snored the night through and left at dawn. Thank god for ear plugs! I quite enjoyed hearing the wind fret and bluster about the place but having eaten late didn’t help my sleep either. My simple room is charming though, the various fabrics combining in a way to lift it from its basic crudeness into something rustically stylish.

*

So this morning, Alex asked my plans for the day and I asked him if we could walk to the obligatory waterfalls, but made it plain that water is just liquid falling off a cliff – and not a lot of it at this dry season – and I was more interested in the walk and meeting the community. Alex is an aspiring politician and is the leader of the community youth programme, advising on restricting family size and local economic measures. The average Uganda woman bears 5.6 children! Is it surprising that Africa has so many problems, for almost all of them are directly related to overpopulation? And yet, sitting drinking local brew of fermented maize and wheat, called ‘komet’ (almost exactly like Ghanaian pito) and conversing with the assembled villagers, the concept of bearing only 1.8 children, let alone choosing not to have any, is completely beyond belief. Pointing out that keeping the family line alive is just vanity and ego, and that no one will know in a 100 years anyway, particularly in a culture that keeps no records, is beyond conception. The economic argument, being right under their noses, has some small sway but custom and culture are desperately slow to change. In the case of Africa, it’s probably too late already. Doubtless, there is a figure that a huge percentage of Ugandans are younger than 15 years old; not only that but fecund in the extreme… Alex does his bit to attempt to deliver the message that smaller families means more wealth now and in the future, but I guess a good deal of it falls on deaf ears that only understand the traditional myth that big families are admirable.

We wandered through the very fertile slopes of this still highland country, between millions of banana trees and coffee bushes, the two staples here. Here, unlike in Kenya where drought is widespread, the cows look well fed and sleek. It is, Alex tells me, a government policy that every rural family should own at least one cow, for the nutrition of children and the family economy. Wherever we went, we were warmly welcomed. At Alex’s auntie’s house, I was her first mzungu guest, and mixed tea was brought as we sat on local wooden chairs and watched life around her compound. Elsewhere a Born Again neighbour chanted long, tedious prayers at the top of his voice, meaning well… Other people welcomed me to their houses and with one very bright but haggard man I had a fascinating conversation about living life – he and his wife – as ‘positive’ and his work for the local health centre to openly inform and educate. In Uganda all HIV positive people are entitled to retroviral drugs from the government.

The local homes are made from dark red earth plastered onto sticks, with generally thatched or zinc roofs. The scene here will be very different when the rains come in March and turn all this to thick cloying mud. I plan not to be here! The waterfall was chilly with spray as it tumbled over a high cliff, one of three falls that will be impressive in the wet season. I forgot to take a picture of that, but took many pictures of the people!

Today a thin cloud cover tempered the Equatorial heat as we walked. It covered the sun enough not to burn down on my head, a fine climate for walking the hills.

*

But it’s always people for me. I love these walks and visits with so many cheerful strangers. And one very special aspect of Uganda is that I will be safe just about everywhere I go, probably through the summary justice meted out to thieves and trouble makers. “Oh,” says Alex, “if someone cries ‘thief’ people will run and attack the robber. He will be shot! And if the local people don’t shoot him the police will! And if THEY don’t shoot him, the military will!” There’s also a very efficient system of mobs of strangers gathering to strip thieves naked in the street – considerable shame in African society. It’s harsh, but it certainly works! I noticed as soon as I entered my room last night that there was no lock on the door. Momentarily, I was concerned, then remembered the stories I had heard of lack of theft in this country. “No, everything is safe. The community would come together to PUNISH anyone who robs you! Why even last night, almost before you were here, the people all about knew there was a mzungu stranger riding to our house!” Precious told me. “The local security knew before you arrived!” concurred Alex with a laugh. “People came to me in town and said, ‘you have a visitor, a mzungu on a motorbike!'” Precious laughed, for she was, she admits, really alarmed at my state, wondering if I was going to attack or was a madman in all my filth!

I have learned on my recent journeys the value of leaving my wheels at home and taking to my feet to indulge my fascination with the people around me, my love of portrait photography and just communicating with people who live life so differently, but share the same loves, hopes and fears as the rest of us. For me this is what travelling is about.

DAY 43 FRIDAY 20th JANUARY 2017. SIPI, UGANDA

Like William last week, I have enjoyed Alex’s intelligent, informed, thinking and friendly company and decided to stay here another day to enjoy the peace on the clifftop and relax a bit into this area. And what odd things I get involved in! For a couple of hours this morning I joined in a meeting of about 35 Village Health Team members and Male Champions. Their work is to attempt to spread the word about family planning, contraception advice, health issues and also the all important aspect of thinking for the future.

This latter is against ALL African ways. In cultures that live hand to mouth, in the present, who cares to think about the lives and livelihood of future generations, beyond the egotistical fact of your ‘name’ continuing and the belief that having children is the main aim in life? Yes, we are no more elaborate, at a basic instinctive level, than any other life form. All life forms exist to multiply after all, from a cabbage to humans. Going against that very basic instinct takes an imagination and knowledge to think into an unknown future. Here the instinct, even amongst educated people, is to multiply without any thought for the lives of grandchildren, let alone even more distant generations. In 1969 Uganda had a population of 9.5 million. By 2025 it is expected to have 53.7 million, over five times as many Ugandans in 55 years. Uganda, however, has stayed the same size, with dwindling water, fewer trees, increasing poverty, global warming and a host of problems. The future is frankly VERY grim. But culture changes so slowly, over generations – (if you are lucky) – and then only if most of the people are well educated and can see and accept the wisdom that the resources of our planet – let alone Uganda – are finite. Telling Tom, whom I met the other night and again today, a well educated young man, that life for his grandchildren and great grandchildren will be harsher, shorter and grimmer than life around him in this tough place today, was like pissing into the wind. I actually began to get irritated that an intelligent man could not even begin to see my argument or my warning that his grandchildren will never thank him for his profligacy and stupidity, when they are suffering with insufficient food, poorer housing than even now – and it’s pretty primitive right now – fighting international wars over water, land and the simplest resources. A day like this is quite depressing if you have imagination and have seen the division of wealth in the world and the mean-spiritedness that is fostered as things get tougher – as we have seen with the present political situation in the western world. As times get tough people look for scapegoats – (immigration… foreigners… Mexicans bringing drugs and raping Americans in bigoted, Trump rhetoric on this inauguration day of the world’s most terrifying president, are all the easy ones) – and fight for themselves and their direct progeny. It’s a fact of nature, protecting your own genes. Imagine life in 100 years time on this already beleaguered continent. By then Africa will have been raped of its resources by the Chinese. The rich nations will have pulled up the drawbridges (Brexit…) or built 6 metre walls to keep out the rapists (Trump’s USA). This will be the pattern of the next century as natural resources stretch to breaking point and ecological disasters compound. We have only one planet on which we can live. We are poisoning it relentlessly and already we are using the resources of three planets, what about when Ugandans – and a lot of the rest of the world – have families of 19 or 20 children, like Tom’s father, which he told me with pride..? And if educated, intelligent Ugandans just laugh me down as alarmist is there any hope at all? I don’t think so. We, the rich, put our heads in the sand and hope it’ll all go away by some scientific miracle yet to be discovered. Come to Africa and just look around and you KNOW that time has run out. It’s too late.

I fear that our spell on this planet is becoming very limited. My visits to Africa have convinced me of this fact. The world in 100 years will NOT be a nice place to be… Should anyone read this in 2117, know that I was aware that my generation saw the last of the ‘good times’ and I saw the future coming!

*

Here in Sipi and Kapcherwa the teams of village workers are trying to change perceptions, but I am afraid they will have no more luck than I had with Tom. I was invited to join their meeting in the garden behind the Reproductive Health Offices in town, having carried Alex there on my bike. Consolate, the organiser, a well meaning, determined woman, headed the meeting, inviting me to listen in – and inevitably to make a speech before the end of the session! Just as well I am used to this sort of sudden demand from all my travels in Ghana. I praised their efforts, reiterated the old Ghanaian aphorisms about ‘mighty oceans start with a drop of rain’ and ‘great oaks grow from a tiny seed’ and suggested that the 1.8 average children for a European family might be connected to our wealth. To raised eyebrows I told them that I had (in many ways) made the decision that I couldn’t do what I wanted with my life and support a family. Sometimes, I said, we must make choices, and many people in the West now made that choice and were not lesser people for it at all. I adjured them to keep up their work in the face of all the attitudinal problems of their communities – for the sake of the world, not just Uganda.

Well, I got a heartfelt round of applause for my words and had to join in the group photograph, towering at the back. Ugandans are of much smaller stature than in most African nations I have visited, compact, slight and slender, but of low average height.

*

In this society, polygamy enhances all the problems. It is common here and only very slowly reducing, says Consolate. Honestly, I sometimes despair of the majority of African men, lazy, unthinking, wasteful, irresponsible and generally useless. I see the women doing the majority of the work, caring for numerous children, childbearing for so many years, labouring in the fields, working to make money to feed and educate children – while their menfolk drink, whore and often beat their hardworking wives…

Back at home Alex’s direct junior sister was visiting from somewhere in the valley below, with four small children under about seven. “But three of them are girls, so her husband is not satisfied. Boys are a blessing…” explains intelligent Alex with a shrug. “I am telling her, four is ENOUGH!” I bet there will be at least one more, and if that’s a girl, doubtless more.

No, today didn’t give me any sense of hope.

*

My good luck was in when I found my way down the red dust paths to the Coffeeland Resort, simple though it is. It is made special by the company – and I mean company – of Alex and Precious, who cannot do enough to make me comfortable and satisfied with their guest house. Precious insisted that I should not do my own washing, she dusted down the bike before we went to town, cleans my basic room, and is charming. Alex is an accomplished cook, hacking firewood from a big log and making my dinner on a small fire of wood shards as I write. Vegetables, rice, homemade coleslaw, and goat meat, I think. I sit outside my somewhat elementary room with the cliff edge thirty yards away with the huge vista stretching before me as the sun sinks into the thin clouds of the west. I’m the only guest and the treatment is better and more personal than I’d get for ten times the price of this £7 hideaway.

DAY 44 SATURDAY 21st JANUARY 2017. JINJA, UGANDA

About two hundred yards away is the ‘source of the Nile’, where it plunges from Lake Victoria and begins its 6853 kilometre (4283 mile) journey to the Mediterranean. I only glimpsed it so far from the road; tomorrow I will investigate. For now, I was so weary that such tourism can wait.

As I descended from the escarpment on which I stayed the last few days at Sipi, the temperature rose considerably. I must now become used to this for the next week or two. However, after Namibia’s 50 degrees in February last year, I can handle just about anything. A mere 30-odd is nothing to me! Again I arrived apologising for the my state. The road, although tarred, was in the process, as are most African roads, of being rebuilt, with long stretches of dust and detours. My face blathered in red dust, I felt I had to apologise in every hotel and guest house that I toured this afternoon. I was early enough to really research where to stay, a tedious process that takes place most days. I have, I notice, rejected almost all the ‘budget’ lodgings these days, and look now for the bottom end of the ‘mid-range’; of such is age and wisdom! I investigated places from £10 to £42 and decided on one at £16, that seemed the brightest and pleasantest of them all. Here I have a corner room with access to a balcony, a large tidy bed and a small bathroom, bargained down from £19 – just for the form of it! I drank ‘African tea’, the tea boiled with milk and flavoured with cinnamon and ginger – very refreshing after hours of dusty riding – and later a couple of beers, on the balcony.

It was sad to leave Sipi. So much of travelling is saying goodbye, and the chances of meeting such warmly friendly people as Alex and Precious again are slender, although I would ride a hundred miles out of my way to visit them again if the chance arises. They treated me as more than a mere guest, looking after me so attentively and with so little pretension that I felt very welcome indeed. I slept soundly in my simple room, beneath my zebra blanket and woke to the sounds of Alex sweeping the entire compound ready for an influx of five guests tonight. I am happy I had the place to myself – apart from the unseen snorer the other night.

Down the red dust paths onto the potholed road and winding far down into the valley below I went, the relatively verdant countryside giving way to bush country reminiscent of northern Ghana. The central part of Uganda is a huge flat land, sprawling north from Lake Victoria, which sits here at 1133 metres (3700 feet) above sea level. I am heading slowly towards the mountainous west side of Uganda but will have to traverse this huge flat land, peppered with large swampy lakes.

In one stretch of badly rutted, dusty roadworks I noticed a slow deflation of my front tyre. I ride along in fear of this, for I know how hard are my tyres. Fortunately, I was just approaching a rude roadside village. There are so many millions of small Chinese motorbikes, so heavily overloaded with multiple passengers and goods, that there are also many puncture repair men these days. I wobbled to one not far away. I seemed to have arrived in a Moslem village. No one spoke English – although I bet they could recite the useless 1400 year old Koran backwards. This is odd in a country that has English as one of its official languages. Well, a puncture doesn’t need much explanation and soon the young Moslem was struggling with my tyre and wheel in a totally inefficient way, watched languidly by four blokes lounging nearby. So frustrating was it that eventually I had to direct operations myself. I mean, there are some basic skills to mending punctures, the first being take the wheel off the bike, which they are so reluctant to do here. “Oh, for goodness sake,” I exclaimed, “it’ll take me two minutes to get the wheel off! Then you can get pressure on it!” So the mender began to build a rickety pile of odd-shaped rocks to support the bike – with a huge pile of bricks four yards away! Honestly, sometimes in Africa, it’s just quicker to do it yourself! I did. Later, I asked the mender to put in my new – very expensive spare tube and he began to put it in without finding out why the previous tube had punctured! I found a thorn that had worked its way in far enough to have caused the problem as I hit a bump. You mend tyres all day for a basic living and you don’t learn the basics… It made me ponder, as I rode away, the relationship of education and intelligence, for the people thereabouts were unusually uneducated. Which comes first and does the one necessarily produce the other..?

202 kilometres on the little tinny bike is enough for a day. I will have to try to adjust my daily rides to no more than this. The seat is incredibly uncomfortable and I am constantly jiggling sideways trying to ease one or the other cheek! Used to my Elephant with his 800cc’s or my Brute with its 1200 cc’s, the little 200 frustrates me with lack of power in East African traffic and its dangerous ways. In such ill-disciplined, badly driven traffic, you are actually safer with a few more horsepower to get out of trouble. Oh well, the wheels go round…

So here I am at the so-called ‘source of the Nile’ in Uganda!

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