The Ultimate Trip, #Day 6 (Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala)

A life size sculpture of an elephant at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

A life size sculpture of an elephant at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

On the early morning of day six we all got up, had our breakfast and lazily got ready to leave the scenic Lake Bunyonyi. I had kept my word to her, I came back to take in and enjoy more of her beauty.

A tent pitched by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. One of the Bunduz.com crew members spent the night in it.

A tent pitched by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. One of the Bunduz.com crew members spent the night in it.

We had known the Lake Bunyonyi area to be quite chilly in the morning, but on this day it was quite warm. It was as if the lady who the lake is was coercing us to stay longer and keep her company. She certainly is a fine woman; as she only got to show us exactly how she felt on our second opportunity of meeting ;-). She however fell for a bunch that would sadly have to leave her only with another uncertain promise of return. I wouldn’t blame her, we really are a bunch of jolly good fellows! On the other hand, we are adventurers, always in pursuit of a new experience. Soon, we were well on our way to Kampala.

Packing our stuff back into The Beast

Packing our stuff back into The Beast

The trip down to Kampala was not an easy one, as by this day most of us were quite knackered. This however did not kill the spirit of building friendships while sharing drink for most of us. Bottles popped, liquids poured and throats were quenched as lasting friendships were built. The entire time The Beast growled along as if in approval of the happenings in his belly πŸ™‚

Knackered! Couldn't resist a nap.

Knackered! Couldn’t resist a nap.

Lasting friendships built!

Lasting friendships built!

Bottles popped, liquids poured and throats were quenched :-)

Bottles popped, liquids poured and throats were quenched πŸ™‚

Many chitchats, bottles and pee stops later, we got to the Equator crossing in Uganda. A town we had been at previously on our journey to Kigali. We made a stop and had our picnic lunch here. Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where the imaginary line that divides the earth into two half passes. The Equator or the Uganda equator crosses into Uganda at a point situated 72km south of Kampala along the Kampala – Masaka road.

Sumptuous lunch prepared by the Bunduz.com crew

Sumptuous lunch prepared by the Bunduz.com crew

Adventurers enjoying lunch at the Equator in Uganda

Adventurers enjoying lunch at the Equator in Uganda

The curio shops at the Equator offer great shopping bargains. The craft stalls sell souvenirs and handmade products a majority with marks talking about the Equator. Some adventurers took the opportunity to purchase some memorabilia for the trip. I was sad that on this day I couldn’t find a proper fit of t-shirt saying, ‘I crossed the Ugandan Equator.’

I witnessed an unfortunate incident where one of us had to pay for an African drum which he damaged while testing it’s quality of resonance using a Masai ‘rungu’ as a drumming stick! I couldn’t understand why, but then again, bottles had popped, liquids poured and throats had been quenched. πŸ˜‰

Say cheese!! The entire group of adventurers pose for a photo at the Equator

Say cheese!! The entire group of adventurers poses for a photo at the Equator

At this point, there are two cement circles marking the equator line and it is worth stopping for a photo moment. We also watched a a local demonstrate how water swirls in opposite directions in the northern & southern hemispheres at the equator line.

Later on in the evening, we arrived at the beautiful city of Kampala and got caught up in it’s hustle and bustle of people rushing home from the city after working hours. There was a swarm of motorbikes crisscrossing in between cars stuck in traffic while passengers pillion precariously. A busy city Kampala is!

Motorcycles in Kampala city

Motorcycles in Kampala city

A beautiful street of Kampala city

A beautiful street of Kampala city

We proceeded through the city and out to an outskirt suburb named Butabika, where we put up at the Red Chilli Hideaway, a spot quite popular with overland adventurers. I liked the place immediately, the well manicured lawns gave a sense of rest and tranquil while the swimming pool complete with a sun downer bar felt like the blessing of an oasis to a wanderer in a desert! Needless to say, we all hopped into the water to cool off from the fatigue of our travels as we enjoyed as game of water polo.

Red Chilli Hideway in Butabika, Kampala

Red Chilli Hideway in Butabika, Kampala

The irresistible swimming pool complete with a sun downer bar at the Red Chilli

The irresistible swimming pool complete with a sun downer bar at the Red Chilli

Later that night after dinner, we celebrated the birthday of one adventurer. A friendship had been fostered among adventurers!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

 

Event: The Ultimate Road Trip
Period: #Day 6 (2nd Jan 2015)
Distance: Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda) – Kampal (Uganda) Approx. 454km
Organizer: http://www.bunduz.com/
Documentary (photos & writing) by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

The Ultimate Trip (#Day 5) – Kigali – Lake Bunyonyi

Hotel Baussejour. Kigali, Rwanda.

Hotel Bausejour. Kigali, Rwanda.

Eventually we had to leave the beautiful land of Rwanda. It was evident that most of us wished our stay here would have been longer. Kigali had certainly treated us well and I personally loved it! With all the Kigali city exploration and the good old partying, we were quite spent on this day of departure.

Adventurers take a nap on our way to Lake Bunyonyi from Kigali

Adventurers take a nap on our way to Lake Bunyonyi from Kigali

The trip back seemed way longer than it was when we were heading to Kigali. We eventually got to the Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort in the late afternoon. I was glad to see her beauty and splendour still intact.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

Sharing a light moment by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

Sharing a light moment by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

We had a lot of time to relax here after having a sumptuous lunch prepared by the ever ready Bunduz.com chef. Some of the adventurers opted to spend the afternoon in their rooms, probably sleeping to recover from the party hangovers of Kigali, while others decided to indulge in a game of poker and enjoy a drink or two. I was definitely with the latter group of adventurers and sure had some fun!

Let's play some poker!

Let’s play some poker!

Taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

The locals enjoy time at the Lake Bunyonyi Resort with their families

The locals enjoy time at the Lake Bunyonyi Resort with their families

Time seemed to fly and before long it was time for dinner. The chef had promised to give us a grand barbeque and he certainly did not disappoint!

 

Adventurers around the fire as the barbeque was prepared.

Adventurers around the fire as the barbeque was prepared.

 

Mukhtar the Trip Captain helps put together the barbeque

Mukhtar the Trip Captain helps put together the barbeque

 

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

 

One Mr.Mbugua couldn't resist posing with the ladies! :-)

One Mr.Mbugua couldn’t resist posing with the ladies! πŸ™‚

On this night we retired a little early as we had a long way down to Kampala the next day.

 

Road Trip Organized by: http://www.bunduz.com/

Documentary and Photos by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

 

 

The Ultimate Road Trip, #Day3 (Lake Bunyonyi – Kigali)

She’s dazzling in her beauty. As she basks in the tantalizing Africa morning sun, I can’t help but notice the reflection of the inviting lumps around her. The sun soothes her in the day but also takes up her water, but the night often creeps in and wets her with a gift of the very water in form of rain. In her calmness, she’s silent of her unrivaled depth. She attracts many, and on this day Nicki and I were trapped in her web of charm. No rush, we were taking it nice and easy. Like many she has cast her spell on before, we had to leave after our morning session with her. She will however be forever etched in my mind with indelible ink. I also left with a promise to return and enjoy more of her. Oh beautiful Lake Bunyonyi!

Lake Bunyonyi (The Place Of Many Little Birds)

Lake Bunyonyi (The Place Of Many Little Birds)

Reflection of the lumps around the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Reflection of theΒ hills around the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi boasts of unrivalled depth at 2,952ft (2nd deepest lake in Africa)

Lake Bunyonyi boasts of unrivaled depth at 2,952ft (2nd deepest lake in Africa)

On this day we needed to cover approximately 141kmΒ  of good road to make it to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. We therefore took our sweet time and enjoyed the morning at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort with a plan to head out at 1100hrs. Some of the adventurers opted to take boat rides, while others strolled around the resort and the rest just whiled the morning away somewhere close to the ‘watering hole’ – the bar πŸ™‚

On a narrow jetty at Lake Bunyonyi

On a narrow jetty at Lake Bunyonyi

The cabin houses at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

The cabin houses at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

Cottages overlooking Lake Bunyonyi

Cottages overlooking Lake Bunyonyi

I had been hopeful of doing a jet ski ride here, but the management had a disappointment in store for me; the machines were out of order. What a bummer!

A statue of a fisherman returning home from a fishing expedition. He sure got some love form the ladies :-)

A statue of a fisherman returning home from a fishing expedition. He sure got some love form the ladies πŸ™‚

The group was quite excited about the trip. It somehow gave me a feeling that, to many Kigali was the highlight of the safari. I bet because that’s where we would usher in the New Year. Soon we all gathered around the Beast and off we took the road towards Kigali.

The fellows having a chat on what they expected in Kigali just before we left Lake Bunyonyi

The fellows having a chat on what they expected in Kigali just before we left Lake Bunyonyi

On our way out of Bunyonyi the Beast came to a halt and one of the adventurers shouted from the back, ‘Mash! Hapa ndio mwisho ya pesa yako!’ (Mash, the money you paid can only get you here!) That was his funny way of saying that Mukhtar our trip Captain was calling me outside the truck. So I climbed down and he requested that I take a photo that will include Beast and the biking adventurer (Ali) in one shot. I was elated at this request as it connoted that he was appreciating my photography work πŸ™‚ I took position, Nicki in hand and I could almost feel her smile as I clicked away at the moving motorbike and the growling beast in the background. Little did we know that those would be the last shots Nicki took for the trip. Happy with my work, I climbed back into the truck. When I got to the top of the side ladder, Nicki suddenly flung off from my shoulder as I swung to jump into the truck. I stretched out my left hand and let out a yelp in a desperate effort to save her, whilst my right hand held firmly onto the ladder. I missed and down I watched her go. Everything in my world went silent as she cut through the air on a flight to the ground, it all happened so fast yet it seemed to be in slow motion to my eyes. Blaaam! Nicki hit the ground and I saw her body parts fly away from the impact. I climbed down the truck and into a bush to retrieve the broken parts with the help of our trip Captain. We found them. Nicki suffered a severe crack right across the front of her body. This was devastating for me, as we were just getting to know each other, and so far it had been so good. I sunk into a corner seat and silent mourned Nicki. I however quickly consoled myself that my insurance would take care of her, and also that Nicki wanted me to have fun on this trip. This consolation and a few encouraging words from some adventurers got me back into action, only that this time I used my Samsung cell phone to take the photos. She turned out well too, and for this purpose I christened her Sally!

Ali, the biking adventurer and Beast in the woods of Bunyonyi. (The last photo I took with Nicki)

Ali, the biking adventurer and Beast in the woods of Bunyonyi. (The last photo I took with Nicki)

We went through rural Uganda on our way to the country’s border with Rwanda. Of note is the fertility of this land and the work ethic of it’s industrious people. We saw busy rural towns with evidence of thriving business, construction of buildings and roads, as well as cultivated lands which I can foresee providing lasting food security for the Ugandan people.

A busy street in Kabale, rural Uganda.

A busy street in Kabale, rural Uganda.

A church under construction on a hill.

A church under construction on a hill.

Before long, we arrived at Gatuna. The border town in Northern Rwanda. We thought that this would be a quick stop where our passports would be stamped and we head on our way. However, this changed when the Rwandan immigration officials decided they needed to check every single bag and the truck for any plastic bags. Plastic bags are not allowed into Rwanda. I lauded them for this noble step in consciously safeguarding their environment from pollution, but I also think it would be advisable for them to communicate this to travelers well in advance to avoid delays at the border.

Gatuna, the border town between Uganda and Rwanda

Gatuna, the border town between Uganda and Rwanda

Two hours painfully spent at the Rwanda border, we proceeded into the country towards Kigali the capital city. Rwanda surely is the country of a thousand hills. There seemed to be a hill jutting out of the ground everywhere one turned. The green vegetation on the hills went on to make the complex of hills quite a breathtaking sight!

Beautifully cultivated hills in Rwanda

Beautifully cultivated hills in Rwanda

The Beast gently came to a stop at a beautiful spot, carefully selected by the Bunduz.com crew as the place we’d have our picnic lunch. The elegant Beast rested as the adventurers stepped out of it’s belly. This was a rare sight in this remote village of Rwanda and shortly we drew a group of curious youngsters who arrived on bicycles. The boys cycled and some had lady pillion passengers who were plastered in roughly applied make-up, adorned in shiny earrings, dressed in slightly mismatched clothes and clutching to their threadbare handbags. They were dressed to impress, beautiful in their village innocence. We mingled with them, shared our lunch and soon some adventurers came up with ideas of keeping busy with the village bicycles!

The picnic lunch spot overlooking tea fields in rural Rwanda.

The picnic lunch spot overlooking tea fields in rural Rwanda.

Beast resting in front of one of the beautiful hills of Rwanda

Beast resting in front of one of the beautiful hills of Rwanda

The curious youngsters with their bicycles

The curious youngsters with their bicycles

An adventurer cycles away

An adventurer cycles away

'If this bicycle gets a flat tyre!' an adventurer warns another. :-)

‘If this bicycle gets a flat tyre!’ an adventurer warns another. πŸ™‚

As the Bunduz.com crew prepared the lunch, I took time to really acquaint myself with Sally. I had neglected her since Nicki came into my life πŸ™‚

Ladies jump, loving the beauty of the tea fields.

Ladies jump, loving the beauty of the tea fields.

Mukhtar our trip Captain arrives in style.

Mukhtar our trip Captain arrives in style.

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served!

I could somehow make out what his t-shirt read. 'Blame the dog' ha ha

I could somehow make out what his t-shirt read. ‘Blame the dog’ ha ha

Ladies enjoy lunch while overlooking the tea fields

Ladies enjoying lunch while overlooking the tea fields

We continued on the road towards Kigali. The adventurers were in high spirits and they downed the lunch time meal with an assortment of drinks as the ‘DJ’ played music as chosen by the ‘revelers’. It was a party allover again! As we entered Kigali, the adventurers couldn’t contain their excitement and they broke into song and dance. We made a grand entrance drawing more attention to ourselves than we needed to. As the pedestrians turned to look at Beast in awe, I could almost hear his growl bellow full of gloat now that he had ferried some jolly fellows from a far land. Rwanda, most of us loved you before we even met you! From the tales of angelic beauties gracing this land, to gigantic beer bottles served in their bars and exquisitely clean streets, we were here to take it all in. Rwanda, show us what you got!

Ali zooms past the Beast on our way to Kigali. He was certainly excited too!

Ali zooms past the Beast on our way to Kigali. He was certainly excited too!

An informal settlement on a hill in the outskirts of Kigali

An informal settlement on a hill in the outskirts of Kigali

The view as we entered Kigali

The view as we entered Kigali

We were soon settled in Hotel Beausejour which is friendly and very welcoming. We settled in and already started loving the Kigali hospitality.

Hotel Beausejour in Kigali

Hotel Beausejour in Kigali

This would be my resting spot for next two nights in Kigali.

This would be my resting spot for the next two nights in Kigali.

While in Kigali, I contacted and met up with some friends from Kenya. Accompanied by a few of the adventurers, we sampled the beer, partied and danced the night away!

Skol and Primus. Popular beers in Rwanda.

Skol and Primus. Popular beers in Rwanda.

Good times at CarWash 2 in Kuchira.

Good times at CarWash 2 in Kigali

Adventurers out at a club in Kigali

Adventurers out at a club in Kigali

Event: The Ultimate Road Trip
Period: #Day 3 (30th Dec 2014)
Distance: Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda) – Kigali (Rwanda) Approx. 141km
Organizer: http://www.bunduz.com/
Documentary (photos & writing) by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)