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Thousands of bats

Now we leave Ishaka and get back on the roads towards the border of Kongo. On the way we discover a great amount of bats.

This boy has made himself his own transporting pushbike like many in this region. The weels are of wood and some carry up to 400 kg on these bikes.

We cycle up and down the dusty dirt roads towards Kongo. The hills are steep so we have to walk a lot. The roads are bumpy from the rain periods when the roads are flooded, so we stand up to balance the weight and not put to much preassure on the back of our bicycles going on the steep downhills. The stones and gravel is partly in good size and shapes to roll our bicycles off the road if we go to close to the side of the road. Sometimes cars come and they often go crazy fast for thees roads. They also leave a great cloud of dust for about a dozen breaths afterwards.

We travel about 190 km in the two days from Ishaka.

Starting to ride from the great hospital hill in Ishaka at around 7 just after dawn and no real break until 7 at night. Our bikes are holding together ok now after we have learned to balance the weight more, tighten all screws every day and also learned how to straighten out the wheel better with the spokes we have to change. The relation between us two is also better. We have had some arguments off and on this first month, just a couple or so making us mad at each other but we had a big, long and open hearted talk in Ishaka, and got to understand each other in a much deeper way. From now on, we have 15 minutes after lunch sessions where we talk about what’s on our minds and straighten misunderstandings out. We also tell each other more often about how we like to do this trip and that we definatley could not do the same without the other.

The second morning on our ride from Ishaka to Bwind, we roll out of the village early. Only a couple of hundred meters out, we discover a dead man sitting in a ditch by the road. Some locals stop and discover him at the same time. We stop the bicycles and go to where he sits. He has a big crack in his forehead, about 8 cm and it is deep, there is no bleeding. He has clothes on him, but his pants are down by his knees. His shoes and are oddly placed very nicely next to him. A piece of pocket sized folded paper is laying there beside him. Maybe someone has checked for his identification. There are puddles of blood in the middle of the road. He might have been drunk, one of the big fast trucks may have hit him in the dark night and pulled the body to the side and continued. We call the local police and then we take off again, soon we sit down and have a breakfast talking about what we saw and how close death can be, how lucky we are and just to stay focused and mind the traffic as we go along.

We go through many small villages, about 5-10 km apart. We roll out of another village to discover an intence twittering sound. We look up the trees which are dressed in a brown mass of leaves or something.

It is moving, there are bats, there are heaps of hanging bats, dozens on a small branch, hundreds on a tree. This is at least 5000 bats in theese about ten trees along the road.

We watch them for a long time. Fredrik tries to come closer and accidentaly scares some of them. It is a domino reaction which sets many of them off in to clouding the sky with their fantastic slow bat wings. They are grand, a wingspan of about 60 cm. And so many. This was so far maybe the coolest animal encounter.

We ride our way getting closer to the mountains bordering Kongo. The sun is setting soon and a punctured tire and a broken spoke slows us down. We fix the bike. We still have another 10 km to go when we see a great mansion, a wall fenced big garden and a great house inside. The gate door is open and we decide to ask if we may camp in there garden. Sure enough. Ugandan hospitality is great and the big eighty year old farmer Donati Kananora in Kyeshero, opens his house for us. Giving us a great room to sleep in, superb shower and food.

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