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New years! On the roads of Uganda 2/2

January 3, 2017

We go slowly in the perfect day. This is equivalent to a superb swedish summer day, or a just a normal one for Uganda, some clouds but around +30 degrees and in the afternoon there is much sun. We go on, get some pick nick in a small village. We role in, people starring, many smiles, many are waiving. Kids rush towards us but always stops a short distance from us. 

 

They watch us with big eyes. We buy tomatoes, a small onion, they have bananas some times, there is no peanut butter and we can only find a kind of crisp or snack which tastes exactly like Wasa knäckebröd. 

 

We buy some bread. You can only find something like white toast bread or sockerkaka/sponge cake, many times the bread is old and very hard and dry. You hold the nice cake in your hand and it is sometimes so dry that you end up with a handful of breadcrumbs from half of the cake. 

There is also a funny and good fruit called Jack fruit. 

 

We get it for free from a shopkeeper but they are not yet ripe, so instead a smart guy on a motorcycle sells us half a fruit which is the size of a long watermelon for the expensive price of about 30 US cents. After this bad deal many wants to sell us more of this fruit during our picknick which we have just outside the village. 

 

Word has spread, the mzungus pay good for Jack fruit. :)

So we eat what we have bought together with some peanuts and popcorn. To this we drink Minute Maid mango juice which is very sweet.

Around three o’clock, we still haven’t gotten very far so we decide to hitch hike. After all it is new year's eve and we would love to have a beer together with our dinner. So we first ask a truck in a village. And they take us on for about 25 km for 4 USD.

 

The roads are dry and dusty, allmost like the spongecakes here. Then we cycle a couple of kilometers uphills. We stop to go to the toilet in the woods. This procedure consists of digging a little hole with a stick and squat. It is fine and smells so much better than many public restrooms. After finished business, you just fill the hole with dirt and be on your way.

We continue our journey through the landscape consisting of cornfields and banana tree plantations, but mostly hilly savanna with cows. Some with big horns, some just looking like the swedish ones we’re used to. The next car we stop is very small, It is an old pickup truck.

 

 We hardly fit in the back all three and our bicycles and luggage. They also sit three inside the car already. We go with it over a few hills before we hit a bump, and one of the back wheels gets stuck against the steel body of the car, and makes a squeaky sound against the rubber tire. The suspension seems to be broken. So we pay the driver a little for the short ride, more because we feel sorry for them actually. We pass another hill with the bikes before we stop another truck. It is a smelly cow transport truck. 

 

We have a long, fun and bumpy ride.

About 50 km down the road, we get off in a bigger town. Here we stop for the night. We find a decent hotel with nice looking rooms, but the rooms are even too small for Fredriks compact loving, living taste. They would be ok without packing, but sleeping two in a room like this is cramped. It is also funny that the place is so modern and clean, but they still cook on rocks around an open fireplace in the restaurant kitchen. We are actually all tired so we go for rice and beans in a nearby restaurant, there is not much more you can order but we also get some g-nut sauce, some cooked cabbage and this thin pancake style bread called chapati.

 

We spend midnight in the hotel and hear the cheers of happy new year before falling asleep, happy to be where we are, even if new years eve has been more celebrated in our younger days. What most Ugandans do this night is to go to church and pray for hours. We can hear it and think it is a party, there are cheers and music but when we hear that it is from the church we pass by. We really don't feel like being pulled to the front and be presented like white monkeys sent by god. But we are blessed with memories from the passed days cycling.

 

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