Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Day 183,
Gulu. Northen Uganda
Internet cafe

The crossing of Kenya-Uganda border was a few days ago. Already from a distance a line of trucks , some kilometres long, caught the eye.

Of course, it was o.k. to drive over, because of the separate customs and border check-up for passanger cars. You drive as far as you can and then as always at the border – all kind of money-exchangers and other busy-bodies will gather around the car. Someone tries to make me clear that he is the one to assist and help the border-crossing And points out the direction of the customs. My reply – that I can manage myself – doesn`t matter and he enters the customs with me, settles down comfortably like at home there and starts to fill in some forms for me.

Life has shown that there are several kinds of assistants – some of them just point out the house and door and just wait outside. This kind is of no much use. And then there are those who march in everywhere and organixe a fast border crossing without any queue or problems whatever.

Which means that they , indeed, have got a service to offer and it helps to save time and nerves. And it was really fast - the car formalities ready and the stamp of leaving Kenya in the passport. And the arrangement of the documents for Uganda was also included to the service. So here it was necessary to fill in visa application, It was a post-card – size form and the necessary information was – name, date of birth, passport information and the number of the car. And then fingerprints were taken from both hands. Some more minutes and the passport was returned and it was said that everything was o.k. Not any page-size stick added to the passport, just a stamp in the passport and that was it. So it was. Nobody wished to see the passport any more. Can`t compare to the border-crossing in Egipt. Like day and night.

The first impression of Uganda was positive in every way. And it caught my eye, that the sides of the roads were cleaner than in some other African countries. Usually there are terrible amounts of black transparent thin plastic bags everywhere. Road ditches and cacti and shrubs and trees are covered with them. And more carbage on the roadside means approaching populated area. But these are the first impressions. Time will shower what further.

Sipi Falls near Mount Elgon.

The Lonely Planet says that Sipi Falls is one of the most beautiful in Uganda. Made up of three separate watefalls. To be far enough it is possible to have all the three falls in one picture.

Local guides - never mind that only one road took to the waterfalls and getting lost was not possible.


Sipi village and three falls from distance.

Small house on a hill

And this way is the water brought to the house. In every village one can see children carrying water with yellow cans.

A million – view accomodation in a Moses Camp. The cost 6000 Uganda shillings or 1,7 Euro

Local shop and a salesman.

Arabica coffee grows this way.

Sipi school. Dance and Song contest between local schools.

A white tourist in the schoolyard is quite a sight.

This kind of picture opened inside. An announcer on the stage, the jury at the table and everywhere around - the audience. The room was packed full of people. The horn was made of paper , but it worked.

I settled down also at the edge of the stage . It was too dark inside to take pictures , but making videos worked. The result is almost an hour of recorded videos but it needs sorting out. And good internet connection.


06.07.2011. last night.
Northen Uganda. Gulu.

Coaches parking place. It is another dark pitch African night. I began to think about overnight place a couple of an hours before dark.

The old story – no desire to drive in the dark. There are people and animals walking on the road and cars drive without lights. Which is really dangerous. But driving with lights on is even more dangerous because it is seen far away already, that a stupid white tourist is coming.
Gulu itself is a bigger populated place. ItÅ› a guess because the Lonely Planet gives no number of population. On the map it is with bold letters.

But not always can one take the map for granted , not to speak of GPS. The fact that a thick red line on the map says Highway - could mean that on this highway no more than 25 km an hour could be driven. And on the rainy season this kind of roads could be not passed for several months.

But my journey here, to Northen-Uganda is a much longer story.

Sudan, African largest country by area , is located in the north of Uganda. Between 1983 – 2005 there was civil war for 21 years, between north and south of Sudan. The truce was made in the condition that referendium concerning independance of South Sudan will take place.

The Referendum took place January 9, 2011 and as the result a new country, Africa`s 54.state - South Sudan, will be on Africa`political map. The capital of the new state will be Juba. And the easiest way to get to South – Sudan is from here – Uganda, Gulu. The distance should be all together 300 km, 100 km to the border and further on 200 km to Juba.

So going to the celebration of South – Sudan Independance Day.
It does not happen very often that one manages to attend at the spot the birth of a New State.

No comments: