After leaving the rather disappointing QE park, instead of going the long way round we opted for cutting across country, we seemed to be hours going down weird tracks and lanes from one unnamed village the next, in fact we were hours, but we did make to a tarmac road, and gave up for the day. We are making for Masaka where we are assured we will see the Shoebill, this is the last place in the country where we may see it, maybe the last place in this lifetime. We were camped near to where the bird lives, so four days on the trot we popped down in the morning so we could not see it, at least here it was free to not see it.
I also spent some time repairing the underside of the car, the anti-roll bar has gone again, one of the brackets has gone for the second time and this time the connecting link has broken as well. I used to wonder why when mums run their kids to school in 4x4s they did not mount the kerb stones, now I know the vehicles are not up to such treatment. Also the steering guard, the bit that is supposed to guard and protect, was broken and needed repairing.
And I have been making a new spare wheel carrier, which I hope is at least as strong as the Toyota one, I would like it to be stronger, but there is only me, a multi tool and an African tradesman. For African tradesman read, someone who is quite willing, knows a little bit about his job and has a built in low quality factor.
And then this I have to fit it to the remnants of the Toyota. But I have added a fail safe device.
After all this we are having a few days R&R on the Sesse Islands, a group of paradise islands on Lake Victoria.
Back on the mainland I have managed to find a wheel, it is expensive, it is the same design as the other wheels, it is the right fit for the hub and it is the wrong geometry for the car. But things like that do not seem to matter in Africa.
Just so that we do not overdo it too much we are having a few days by the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, dubbed the Switzerland of Africa.
And in Kabale I managed to get a tyre, usual thing second hand, no tread, expensive but a tyre so now we are all complete. When I bargained with the man for the wheel, I knocked him down to lower than he wanted to go, so he said he wanted to keep the tyre, I could only have the rim at that price, the tyre was worn down to the wire, I did not want it as it was useless, but he was not letting it go too cheap.
Winston Churchill once called Uganda the “Pearl of Africa”, Idi Amin put a stop to that, but since his departure things are on the up. Uganda is an absolutely fabulous country.
When they grasp the concept of constant electricity, and tarmac on the roads it will be even better.
There are photos on;- http://picasaweb.google.com/mickhelen99
There are some map markers on;- http://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=468852