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Old 11-07-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
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Dirt, gravel, mud, rivers, elephants and a solar eclipse. A ride to Murchison Falls.

We planned a trip up to see the total solar eclipse taking place in Northern Uganda in the beginning of November 2013.

We decided to camp in Murchison Falls National Park, and then head north on the day to Pakwach where we would see the totality.

The wife & kids would be travelling up in the Landrover Defender, while Jotie and I would head up on our respective bikes.

I got my Classic Yamaha Tenere 660 ready in time, while Jotie got his Honda Steed as ready as can be expected for the dirt.

Departure day:



More to follow...
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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Traffic in Kampala is chaotic. The second video in this thread will give you an idea of what its like:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929049

Bikes are used as a primary mode of transport in the cities, but are relegated to the sides of the road and practically have no road rights. Might is right as they say; bikes give way to cars and everyone gives way to trucks. The buses just make their own rules. A lot of car drivers get angsty if they see you driving a bike in the middle of the road and try to force you off into the path. You get cut up all the time and all junctions need to be approached with care.

Anyhow, we get through the traffic pretty quickly in the bikes, and decide to press on ahead; we'll meet the Landrover further down the road at a main junction (the wife doesn't know the route so we need to meet her at junctions anytime we need to deviate from the road - we only need to do this a few times).

Roads are good in the city, but you need to deal with the traffic and fumes:



We keep getting cut up by trucks and busses who pull out on the road without warning. Bikes are mostly invisible:



The road quickly gives way to stretches of gravel and compact dirt. We keep getting cut up:



Jotie is an old school biker, and a prospect with a respected Motorcycle Club called the MC Hotrods based in Kampala. He always wears his leathers, but not much else. Its going to be interesting to see how his trusty steed manages on the dirt roads to come.....

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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Whereas, I'm more of a wuss and have an aversion to road-rash. So I tend to wear full protection when possible:



We make an odd travelling pair of bikers; the cruiser and the dual-sport. The old school leather waistcoat and the new corduras.

Jotie puts his faith in his riding ability (he's used to be a good motorcross rider) while I put my faith in technology.

Two things are for sure. Firstly; if Jotie comes off he's going to be in a world of pain, with no ambulances or any sort of medical aid available. Secondly; I'm going to be hot sweaty and damned uncomfortable for the next few days because the temperature is close to 40 degrees celsius with extremely high humidity. Need to remember to keep hydrated....
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:08 AM   #4
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The gravel / compact dirt sections of road works have not been kind to Jotie's bike. Its being rattled to pieces on the corrugations and potholes.

At one point his number plate holder shears clean off the bike. Luckily he hears it rattling down the road so he stops and picks it up. The number plate stays in his bag the rest of the trip.

Jotie gives the salute with his bike (sans number plate):



But we haven't even reached the real dirt sections yet....
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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Jotie almost gets wiped out by a minibus on the road, it overtakes a truck and comes into his lane. He is forced into the ditch on the side of the road to avoid it.

Other than that we have a fairly uneventful drive to the junction where the dirt begins.

Although the Landrover Defender we are travelling with develops a fault and won't start (or starts intermittently). So my wife has to get people to push start it every time she stops.

Once we hit the dirt I blast ahead of Jotie, who is forced to go slow due to the feet forward style of his bike (its impossible to stand up on it) and by the low clearance (he whacks his bash-plate non-stop).

I arrive at the gate, and wait about 20 minutes for them to catch up.

The Gate to Murchison Falls National Park:



Only a couple of hours to our campsite from here. Cold beers await!
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:45 AM   #6
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Once we get through the gate I blast off again ahead of the rest of them.

I pass a large herd of buffalo close to the road on both sides, and go through them cautiously, then get some speed again. Coming around a corner I meet a school bus coming down a slight hill moving very fast and slightly sideways. He is on my side of the road, and I have to move into the very edge to avoid him. There is a severe camber thats leads into a deep rut. I manage to slow down and the front tyre washes out, but I manage to hop off the bike onto the verge and drop it on to the crash bars.

I fumbled around for my camera to get a picture of the dropped bike, when from behind a bush some 20 meters away a bunch of oxpeckers suddenly erupt into the air. A large old buffalo rises up from behind the bush and starts shaking his head; he's still half asleep in the heat, but looks angry as hell.

Somehow I lift the bike, hop on it, start it, and blast off in what seems to be a second or two. Normally lifting the old Tenere is a bit of a drawn-out and resting on the hip kind of deal, given its heavy weight. No photo this time round.

I get into the campsite at around 6.00pm. We've been on the road the whole day. I knock back a cold beer, and get us all checked in. The others arrive about 30 minutes later, and we start unpacking the car and setting up the tents before nightfall.

Dinner that night is Halloween, or Guy Fawkes, or some other excuse for Jotie to wear a skeleton mask…

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Old 11-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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Sounds fun , what happened next ?
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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Thanks; so what happened next is that the following day the landrover would not start. We couldn't push start it either as it was parked in a rut, in a small dirt car-park at the campsite. Originally we were going to do some game-drives with the landrover and bikes, so we had to make a change of plan.

We managed to book a water-taxi to take us to a jetty later in the day where we would be able to catch a boat launch up to Murchison Falls. This meant we would be doing our game-drive on the boat. This actually worked out quite nicely (no bumps & dust, and we could all drink on the boat).

A river-taxi coming to collect us at the campsite:


In the meantime I took my bike down to a ranger station to see if there were any mechanics who could look at the starter motor. They directed me to a National Parks workshop.

The Rangers Workshop - all repairs carried out under the shade of a tree:


All the mechanics were out fixing the Ferry that takes cars across the Nile, so I went there and met a mechanic who was finishing up. He jumped on the bike and I took him back to the campsite where he got to work on the land rover. After a while he zeroed in on the solenoid switch in the starter motor; after getting it started he said he'd drive it down to the workshop, and then he'd bring it to the Jetty where our boat launch trip would end in the evening; so the timing all worked out well.

We saw a good amount of game on the river, including hippos, elephants, crocodiles and lots more.

Kids on the front of the boat as we drive up to a herd of elephants:


More Elephant:


Crocodile on the bank:


Hippos were everywhere:


Eventually we came to the base of Murchison Falls; its spectacular because essentially you have the biggest river in the world squeezing through a gap in the rocks a few meters wide. The whole river comes out of there at a ferocious speed.

Murchison Falls:


After coming back to the jetty the landrover was waiting for us. It lives! We drove back to camp and had a great meal and a load of drinks. The following day was going to see us driving North out of the park in order to be in the path of the totality. However, we had some bad news; seemingly a small river just North of the Park was flooding over the only road, which was becoming impassible. We ruminated on our options. The landrover would most likely be able to cross the water, but the bikes would be another issue, and we would have to totally rely on the unreliable landrover. Another option would be to head South out of the Park and then drive around it on main roads avoiding the flood. This would work, but would make the trip extremely long, which would not be a problem getting up to the eclipse site. The problem would be coming back the same road would mean that we would reach the South Park entrance well after nightfall, and long after the gates had been closed.

Choices, choices!
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Great pictures of a fantastic journey….. thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:02 AM   #10
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Thanks; appreciate it.

That evening Jotie and I decided to take the bikes over to another backpackers camp. The place we were staying at was a very cool lodge called Murchison River Lodge; it had a beautiful restaurant and lounge area overlooking the river, and a very appreciated pool (the temperature was hot there). They also had luxury cabins and tents, as well as a small campsite where we were staying. The Eclipse was a big deal in Uganda, and most of the hotels and lodges had been booked (and even overbooked) well in advance. We were on a waiting list here for a few weeks before they got a cancellation and gave us the space. It’s a nice family friendly place (which was appropriate as we were traveling with children). We also knew that they had a maximum number of tents allowed in their campsite, so we knew it wasn’t going to be overcrowded.

The Red Chili camp is a backpacker hotspot, with a lively bar, so we went there for a drink. On the way in we met a couple in the carpark on a BMW F650 Dakar who were having battery trouble; seemed to be a recurring issue, so he was just dealing with it. They had driven up from South Africa, on there way to north Africa. There were also a couple of other cruisers there, including a Steed like Joties. In the bar we bumped into some guys we knew, so the one drink turned into more, and then someone started buying shots. The manager of the camp joined us and more drinks were ordered. One of the guys had some chili paste in his pocket that someone had given him (in East Africa everyone loves chili sauce so its not considered odd behavior to pull out a bottle in a bar)! He reckoned this was the hottest he’d ever tasted and asked us to taste it; it was called ‘Satan’s Shit’ and made with Naga Ghost chilies. I was up for some so dipped my finger in. “Too much!” he said, but meh, I like chili. But I have to say that was some hot stuff; I could still taste it the next day. Jotie declined. You can see videos on youtube of people eating this stuff.

A big storm started rolling in. A huge storm; massive thunder and lightning. The manager reckoned it was going to pass us by so we stayed for some more rounds as the storm raged around us. Suddenly the manager came up and said something like “The storms coming this way, if you leave right now, and drive crazy, you might just make it home!” So we ran to the bikes. We were being chased by the rain the whole way home. I don’t think I would have needed to use the lights on the bike because the road was lit up by all the lightning. It was a crazy huge storm. Luckily we made it in before the main rain-front passed over us – it was like a wall of water when it did.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:16 AM   #11
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The day of the eclipse.

So like I mentioned earlier we had two choices: the first option was to head North through the Park and cross the flooded river to exit the park and hope that the landrover was up to the task. We could also take the bikes with us, and if the river was too deep we would have to abandon them in the middle of nowhere until we crossed back later in the evening (by which time they might have been stolen). The second option would se us drive South out of the park and then drive all the way around the Eastern part of the park, up the Gulu road, then turn West again and bypass the section of flooded road. The main problem here being that we would not make the return journey in daylight, and would risk being locked out of the park when we arrive back at the Southern gate.

In the end we decided on option one; the landrover. As the trip would only be a few hours long through the park we decided to lounge around at the pool for the morning, and head up after lunch (the eclipse was taking place around 5pm).

After lunch we loaded up the landrover, I hopped in and turned the key. Nothing. It was not starting again. It looked like the mechanic had only done a temporary fix. Luckily; I had parked the vehicle on a slight slope the day before, so we would be able to push start it if necessary (diesels are easy to push start as long as they are preheated).

But this left us with another complication; we would not be able to stop the car on this day unless there was a slope in front of us. Also we had to cross over to the North bank of the river Nile on a small ferry. The problem being that the ferry requires you to stop the car, engage handbrake, put it into first gear, and the driver is not allowed to be in the car during the crossing. We figured we’d just have to deal with this when we got to it.

It was a short drive down to the Ferry (we passed the workshop and I had thought about going to see the mechanic about the work he had been paid for – but time was too short, and what’s a safari without complications). We arrived early in order to be on the first crossing, so we had to wait at the bank for an hour (luckily there was a slope so we were able to turn the vehicle off). A traffic jam formed behind us; it looked like a lot of people had the same plan as us. Eventually we drove onto the ferry and in all the chaos the driver did not bother to tell me to get out of the vehicle, and over the noise of the ferry engines they did not notice mine was still running. So I sat in the car with the handbrake on, and my foot on the footbrake. Result! We drove off the ferry and started a leisurely drive up North, and saw a good deal of game on the way.

The ferry crossing:


The South Bank of the park is very forested, but the North Bank is savannah. I’m used to seeing acacia trees in savanna, but here there were mainly palm trees. Very unusual looking scenery. One thing we noticed on the drive was that sometimes the landrover would start with the ignition, sometimes not; the problem seemed to be intermittent. Parking on a slope meant we would be guaranteed to start by rolling; though sometimes the ignition would work instead.

Savanna with palm trees:


We exited the North gate of the park, and straight away we came to a traffic jam of vehicles. The flooded road was just around the corner, and smaller cars and busses had stopped to assess how they were going to get across; so not a traffic jam – it was just cars parked in the middle of nowhere. 4x4’s were not stopping though, so we started overtaking the parked cars and got in line for the crossing.

Once we saw the depth of the water we knew the bikes would never have made it. With vehicles behind us waiting to go we had no time to assess the best line; you just had to go in and follow your nose for the best track. There were three crossings in total, and at the deepest one the water level was over the bonnet (hood) of the landrover. I had it in low range so it just pushed through, but it was struggling. There were a few smaller 4x4 broken down that were being towed out by tall landcruisers. We made it through without any incident; but this was beginning to feel like an adventure.

Water coming over the bonnet of the landrover:


Some rangers on the other side told us the water was still rising; so we’d have to contend with this on the way back again.

So we drove on the main road looking for a small town called Pakwach; this was just South of the line of totality, so basically we had to find Pakwach and then find a road heading North again and drive up around 10kms (this would put us somewhere in the path of the eclipse). Basically we had heard that the line of totality was only going to be about 18kms wide, so literally if you were a few hundred meters too far South or too far North you would miss the full eclipse.

We came to Pakwach – the traffic was crazy – it seems like half of Kampala city had driven up the Gulu road early that morning to see the eclipse. Then we saw a small road heading North; and someone had put a big sign reading that there was a school up that road that was going to be the sight of the eclipse – that sounded good to us so we took the road.

About 8kms up the road we saw what seemed to be a circus in the distance. Hundreds of massive tents, thousands of cars. It looked like everyone had congregated at the school. We passed the Presidents helicopter parked in a field, and then saw a massive traffic jam ahead. There was no way we were gong into that mess, so I decided to turn around head south a little bit and find a tree on the road to park under while we waited the last couple of hours for the eclipse. We would just have to hope that we were now in the path of totality.

I found a tree shading the road and parked. No one was around. But there was a fairly constant stream of traffic heading up the road. After about half an hour the traffic jam started backing up around a corner in the distance, and slowly started creeping back towards us. Eventually our quiet little spot was engulfed and everyone started parking on the road around us – at least we had the only shady spot!

Shady spot and the road to ourselves:


The traffic eventually engulfed us:


The road took on a carnival atmosphere; music was being played, cool-boxes with drinks were taken out, and snacks were passed around. The partial eclipse started as the moon slowly moved in front of the sun. We had eclipse glasses to watch this phase; other people were using welding goggles, film negatives, x-ray sheets, and even black plastic bags.
However, there were a lot of clouds in the sky, and the sun would disappear behind them for some time. It was looking like it was going to be touch-and-go about whether the sun would be visible during the totality.

Jotie using eclipse glasses. Lots of dust from the cars; hence the dust mask:


Looking through the eclipse glasses we could see how fast the eclipse was taking place, and everyone was guessing the totality would take place at around 5.20pm. Eventually the sun was a crescent shape, and the day started becoming noticeably darker. And then, with about 10 minutes to go, a huge big cumulonimbus cloud parked in front of the sun. That was it – we were going to miss the eclipse!

Now you get eclipse hunters who chase eclipses all over the world; it’s an actual industry. These guys bump into each other all over the world, and plan their trips years in advance. The next one is going to take place in the arctic during the winter, and these guys have already paid an icebreaker to anchor in a Northern fjord in Norway in the Summer where it will sit until it gets frozen in place in the sea during the winter. Then these guys will snowmobile to the ship the week before the eclipse; the frozen ship will become a luxury hotel in the middle of the fjord during this period. There was a group staying at our camp who were on a specialized tour with professional astronomers as guides. We saw a bunch of these eclipse chasers heading South down the road at great speed in a truck – looking South we could see a few kms down the road there was a patch of sunlight. A couple of cars pulled out and took off after them. We debated and decided to give it a try. Key in….please work! But nothing! The bloody landrover decided this would be one of those moments. While I had parked on a slight slope originally it would have been possible to roll start the car when the road was empty – but the now we were boxed in with nowhere to go.

So we settled in and decided to just enjoy it. It had been an adventure; and seeing the total eclipse would have been the icing on the cake, but not seeing it was not going to be a train smash. It’s about the journey, not the destination, right?
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:19 AM   #12
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BOOOOOOOOO!!!
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HISSSSSSSSS!!!
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Thats a rubbish ride report I hear you saying! All that for nothing? Well then, read on…...



Except that, 5 minutes before totality the big cloud just…vanished. It didn’t drift away and reveal the sun…it just literally disappeared before our eyes. It didn’t make any sense to us. All the other clouds in the sky were still there, but the one blocking the sun just evaporated. 5 minutes to totality and it was game on again! We were going to see it; everyone started cheering on the road!

5 minutes before totality; the cloud starts to vanish:


1 minute before totality. Crappy picture - but it shows how dark its getting:


Looking through the eclipse glasses we could see the moon slowly closing the gap – and then nothing – no light. Darkness. We took off the eclipse glasses and looked directly at the sun with our eyes.

Now I have seen partial eclipses before, and it has never been anything spectacular. Essentially you look through glasses at what appears to be a crescent moon shape thing. Or project the image through a pinhole camera at the ground. So I have always wondered why people go on about an eclipse being such a fantastic experience. I knew then. The difference between a partial eclipse, and a full eclipse, is as different as night and day. They are two different experiences. Not even close to one another.

The sun was a black hole in the sky. The sky had turned to night; we could see Venus and the stars behind the sun. The night sky went from horizon to horizon running West to East (in the shadow of the moon), but to the North and to the South there was still daylight; bright white clouds could still be seen either side in the brilliant blue sky.

But the strangest thing was the suns corona. Massive white streaks running out from behind the moon, active and moving like an aurora. The corona is always there; many times larger than the disk of the sun but never seen by us because of the glare.

You often see images of a total eclipse which look something like the following photo (not taken by me but by a friend of a friend also at the same location). And that’s as reasonable a reproduction of an eclipse as can be achieved by a camera dealing with the contrasting light. But it doesn’t capture the eclipse experience as you see it with your eyes. The sun seems massive in the sky (the same size as a full moon – but the corona makes it many times larger). Everyone went quiet and stared. Then as quickly as it came, it went again; a tiny sliver of light emerged (the diamond ring as they call it) and then the light became dazzling, too bright to look at with your eyes.

This photo does not capture what you see with your eyes:


The whole road erupted with cheers, people started dancing and hugging one another. The eclipse had come and gone, but everyone was united in the experience, if only fleetingly.

A few minutes later, the first cars started racing down the road to get ahead of the traffic. We managed to get someone to pull us out with a towrope, and got the landrover started. Most of these thousands of people were going to be staying in Gulu, or Masindi or in the Park like us tonight. That meant there was going to be a massive jam tomorrow heading back to Kampala; the problem was going to be the roadwork’s we had passed on the way up. Tomorrow was going to be a nightmare with a car we could not rely on. And we still had deal with the river crossings to get back in the Park with the rising water levels. We decided to bust on.

But, at least tomorrow we would be on our bikes again!
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:52 AM   #13
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Now, though I'm still a noob, I did read the Trip Report Guidelines and know that I'm not meant to be writing trip reports about landrovers. The last few reports have been lacking on motorcycle action, but this was just a part of the overall trip where we had to make decision to use them or lose them.

But I just want to make a guarantee that starting from the next post you will see that…

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Old 11-30-2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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So we raced along the road, and again a traffic jam of smaller 4x4’s and minibuses had backed up along the flooded road. We passed them and forded through the slightly deeper water without any incident…or so we thought.

We managed to make it back to the ferry crossing (we were one of the first cars there so we made it over on the first crossing – other cars would have to wait for a long time as the ferry went back and forth across the river to clear the long line that was forming on the North bank). We parked the landrover on a slope so that there would be no issue with starting it in the morning.

Back at the camp we had a celebratory dinner and some drinks. Later we talked to some of the professional Eclipse chasers who mentioned that they had often seen the phenomenon where clouds would dissipate right before the eclipse would take place. Seemingly the shadow of the moon racing across the surface of the Earth would change the local weather.

The next day we got up early, had breakfast, packed up the tents and got ready to go. We wanted to get moving as early as possible to avoid the traffic at the roadwork’s on the road to Kampala.

Bikes at the campsite:


I shot off ahead again, but stopped at a junction where we had the choice to go to the top of the waterfalls. When the rest caught up with me we decided not to go there due to time.

Always waiting for them to catch up:


Scary:


I followed behind the landrover for a while, and my six year old son started snapping some shots with his iPod. Given that we had some expensive equipment with us (a Canon 5DmkIII with L Series lenses, a GoPro camera etc); it was ironic that he got some of the best bike action shots with his iPod!





Right about then a new Landrover Discovery TD5 came up behind us and overtook us – it was been driven by a guy from the British Embassy. He was going considerably faster than us and putting up a lot of dust, so I decided to overtake him and get ahead of the dust. I went past our Landrover, and started accelerating behind him, but I saw that he started accelerating too. Way too much dust now, so I hammered down to get in front of him, but he kept increasing his speed. Eventually I was doing something like 120kph on this little dirt track that was potentially full of wild animals and oncoming cars on blind corners, and he was still pulling away from me! It would have been insane to try and overtake him like this, so I backed off and let him get well ahead of me to avoid the dust. Bloody hell, these new landrovers can really eat these roads. Later on his kids got up on the roof in a forest so he had to slow it down, and I overtook him then. I guess he was also trying to avoid the traffic, but he had to rein it in when the family wanted to do some game viewing.

I got to the Southern Gate and stopped to have a coke while I was waiting for the others to catch up. When they did my wife said the Engine Temp gauge was showing the landrover was overheating. We knew there was a petrol station with a basic garage at Masindi town which was about half an hour away, so I told her to press on and we would deal with it there. So we drove in a convoy at medium speed until we got to the station.



I was thinking we might have damaged the radiator or the fan, during the river crossings. The water level had been way over the top of the engine, so it seemed like the likely culprit. At the garage the mechanic figured the radiator was covered in mud and dust, so he cleaned it up – but the engine was still at red. About an hour after stopping we completely flushed the radiator, put in new coolant and started her up – again the temp went straight to red. Something was wrong here; the engine was actually cold at this point, but the temp gauge was showing it in the red. The mechanic was really only trained in doing services and that sort of thing, so he managed to find another mechanic who new electrics, and he confirmed after a while that the sensor for the temperature gauge was kaput – it had probably had been messed up in the river crossing. We disconnected it and carried on, though this had delayed us considerably.

We got back on the tarmac roads and had some good riding, though as we approached the roadworks we could see some ominous dark clouds ahead. As expected the heavens opened up and Jotie & I were thoroughly soaked. If you have never been in a tropical rainstorm before then its hard to imagine just how heavy it can be. But literally we were saturated from our necks to our toes in about 30 seconds. The storm only lasted about 30 minutes but the damage was done. We had gone from uncomfortably hot (the unbearable humidity you often experience before a tropical rainstorm) to teeth clatteringly cold. It was after 5pm now, so the sun was well down, and behind clouds.

Driving in the rain:


The rainstorm had passed over the roadworks, and so the men who were on duty there to control the cars (they alternately stop traffic in one direction for an amount of time) had run away to avoid the downpour. In their absence chaos had ensued. Cars proceeded through the roadworks in both directions simultaneously. When they met they started overtaking and forming new lanes. Eventually I counted 5 lanes heading in both directions on a 1 lane road; where they met you had 5 lanes in each direction at a complete stop. By the time the roadworks guys came out from wherever they were sheltering it was too late – the cars were completely jammed with no place to go forwards or backwards. The jam started to build up in both directions with multiple lanes forming. The police had to be called in to try and break it up, but it was an impossible task.

Car stuck in the ditch after trying to overtake:


This is meant to be a 1 lane road:


Jotie wanders into the mess to see if there is any hope:


On the bikes we could have made it through (all the other bikes were simply driving on the grass verges), but we decided to stay with the landrover (which was stuck in the traffic with the engine on as we would not be able to push start it). It was about 4 hours before we eventually started moving, and then at a snails pace, it was already dark.

We had not intended to drive at night, but we had no choice now. We realized that Joties front headlight had rattled itself to pieces, and my backlight had done likewise. So we had to drive side by side with me providing the illumination in front, and him providing the taillight to cars behind.

We got back to Entebbe at around midnight and went straight to bed. It had been a day of extremes, fast & slow, hot & cold, dusty & rainy, but mostly we were just wrecked from the length; we had been driving from just after 9.00am in the morning to almost 12.00 at night.

It had been worth it though.

So hope you enjoyed my first ride report, hopefully there will be more down the road. In the meantime, this is me signing off. Cheers!


Simonpwood screwed with this post 11-30-2013 at 02:33 PM
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:38 PM   #15
Aj Mick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonpwood View Post

I followed behind the landrover for a while, and my six year old son started snapping some shots with his iPod. Given that we had some expensive equipment with us (a Canon 5DmkIII with L Series lenses, a GoPro camera etc); it was ironic that he got some of the best bike action shots with his iPod!
Not really ironic….. it's not what you have, but what you do with it that matters. The kid is probably not much bothered by all the tech stuff….. just wants a picture, and maybe has an eye for a good one.

Anyway it is interesting to see your words and pictures of the continuing trip.
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