Monday was spent riding around Kampala , first to the Sudanese Embassy , to hand in all my documentation for my visa application , once done I met up with Parky for a coffee in town and then he took me off to meet the mechanic that would be doing a minor service on Victoria on my return to Kampala at the end of the week . From here it was off to Uganda house to meet up with Ester who had kindly organised a friend of hers to make me a sticker of the Ugandan flag for the scooter , then racing back to pack for my trip up to Murchison falls national park to go and see the falls.

Tuesday , I was up early to make the journey  up to the falls , 200 kilometres of the journey would be on tar but the next 130 kilometres was off road 90 of which ran through the national park and I wanted to give myself enough daylight hours to get to the campsite before sunset come what may.

The road up was great , long and straight stretches that allowed me to make good time and by midday I was paying my park fees ready for Victoria and I to do some game viewing en route to the camp , hoping to encounter only omnivores , herbivores and the like while scootering the 90 km.

 

UWA well armed , well trained. All park fees cash only charged in USD.

UWA well armed , well trained. All park fees cash only charged in USD.

I wanted to make the trip up to Murchison falls for two very compelling reasons , the first ,  it is the place where the Victoria Nile is suddenly funnelled into a 6 meter wide gap and between the Uhuru falls  and this narrow gorge all that flows down the Victoria  Nile  has to get through this tiny area before reaching Lake Albert , making a powerful , misty exit from the waterfall to the gorge . The second reason clearly Victoria meet Victoria .

 

So my 90 kilometres started .

So my 90 kilometres started .

 

Tranquillity  and a leg stretch.

Tranquillity and a leg stretch.

The ride through the park was truly breath taking ,  a three and a half hour trip  with forever changing scenery and road conditions just spectacular  , arrived at the camp set up and made the necessary arrangements for the hike the next morning  , early to bed as I had a 35 km ride back to get to the falls to start the hike . I spent the night with a family of pigs with tusks foraging around my tent , they really should learn to chew with their mouths closed , noisy bunch .

 

Never mind no scooter warning , we will be fine

Never mind no scooter warning , we will be fine

 

90 km of wild Uganda

90 km of wild Uganda

 

Once again in cruiser country

Once again in cruiser country

 

Up early to make my way to the falls , with the early morning mist all about , Victoria and I rode keeping our eyes peeled for elephant or any other enchanted forest inhabitants , including potentially bumping into Gandalf or his followers , this really felt like lord of the rings country .

 

Misty morning

Misty morning

 

On my ride into the park  , Victoria was converted into free transport for tsetse flies and I was the buffet , when you are in a car you can close the windows , kill the few that made it in , but on a scooter they just land and feast , having been feasted on I dressed in light colours and wore my luminous construction vest to try and keep them off , nothing helped , they sucked through jacket , buff and everything else I had tried to cover up with . So  with no defence I tried to ride at a slightly higher speed which helped a lot but the second I had to slow they would attack once more . Those day walkers would stop at nothing .

 

My first glimpse of the Victoria Nile.

My first glimpse of the Victoria Nile.

 

As per Ugandan law , I had to hire a ranger and off we set on our hike of the falls and the surrounds . He was a little slow so we made a deal , he would wait a strategic points and I would hike at my leisure and collect him on my way back , worked like a charm.

 

Murchison falls the 6 m funnel in the background.

Murchison falls the 6 m funnel in the background.

 

Jacuzzi foam from the force.

Jacuzzi foam from the force.

The hike was really beautiful and so worth having made the trip , you just cant believe that so much water is squeezed through that small funnel and then down the gorge.

 

That's the gap.

That’s the gap.

 

That's the gorge

That’s the gorge

 

That's me at the top of the falls.

That’s me at the top of the falls.

 

That's Victoria waiting patiently next to Victoria.

That’s Victoria waiting patiently next to Victoria.

 

What a fantastic morning , I got back to camp , realising my fuel was a little low , the consumption higher due to the road conditions , it was then I realised I had no  fuel in the petrol bag , so I would have to take the ferry across to the one pump for hundreds of miles around. The ferry runs every two hours , so it took me almost four hours to buy four litres of fuel and cover a distance of  one kilometre to the fuel depot and the one kilometre back to the campsite.

 

Africa held up by Vic

Africa held up by Vic

 

The ferry arriving

The ferry arriving

 

Victoria on the Victoria Nile.

Victoria on the Victoria Nile.

 

I rode to the ticket office at 11.30 to secure my place on the ferry once it arrived at 12h00 which really is 12h30 to bored for the 3 minute trip , rushed up to the lodge on the hill to purchase my voucher for the fuel , back to the single pump  , while filling up had this herd pass by on their way somewhere . Never before have I seen a herd of elephant while at a petrol station.

 

Fuel and forest

Fuel and forest

I then rushed back to the ferry , which had already left , so back to the lodge for lunch to kill time until the ferry returned for 14h00 that was actually 14h40 so my fuel stop took most of the day , the elephants and the cappuccino made the lazy hours very worthwhile. On my initial  wait for the ferry to arrive  I contemplated the globe , the  African aspects in  particular and came to the realisation , We still have a way to go , Vic and I.

 

From where we came.

From where we came.

 

From here up.

From here up.

Finally back in camp to shower and treat my vampire bites , that when naked I realised covered the majority of my body , I applied cream to all those I could reach hoping that the itching would subside and allow for a good nights rest , I was really tired after my falls hike and fuel mission.

By sunset the heavens opened and the rain poured down , I sat under the thatch watching the lightning dance across the sky and could not help thinking about the road out of the park , bad enough dry what would the water do? Off to bed to sleep nestled up in the tent  , while the rain came down and the lightning gave me intermittent daylight .

Until we meet again.

 

 

 

 

 

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