Distance: 43km (Cumulative: 16 127km)
Moving time: 2:30
Average speed: 17km/h
Road surface: 95% Tar
Via Via Entebbe - R100 p.p
Beautiful location on edge of city, popular with foreigners.
The Two Monkeys felt something odd in the morning, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Hugo got out and noticed what was wrong. Our first flat wheel in 5 monhts and 15 000km. We inflated the wheel a bit to fit the bottle jack and then put on the spare tyre. We could hear the air coming out of the flat tyre and quickly found the leak. It was in the middle of a piece of tread and not in the grooves.
We ordered breakfast at the backpackers, but it was a huge let down. We ordered a “The works” which was double as expensive as the Full English Breakfast, because it had onions, bakebeans, pineapple and a sausage extra. The onions were 3 thumbnail size pieces of onion, the pineapple was 4 cm x 1cm and the bacon was smaller than a finger.
We left at 11:00 and set off for the Clock Tower Shoprite which also had a City Tyres repair shop next to it. Again the traffic at least flowed, but the 5km from the backpackers took 45 minutes, 26 of those minutes was just for the last 1.38km.
Hugo dropped the other three off and then just had to go around the block to the Tyre place. He turned into Channel street and immediately knew he made a mistake, but couldn’t reverse out as he was immediately boxed in. The 2 lane one-way streer was completely filled with taxis which didn’t seem to be moving at all, there were even taxis without drivers in it. Few people passed him and headed for a slow moving lane next to the right kerb. Someone motioned him to also go through narrow spaces to that lane. He made it through with the nose of the Hilux followed by a loud screeching noise. The left wheel cover was scraping against a taxi. The driver jumped out and someone else signaled for Hugo to turn left and go forward. He was then motioned to get of the car. A group of people started to gather around the taxi. The taxi had those metal grills over the lights which pressed into the metal work and the exhaust was apparently bent or broken. The Hilux had some deep scrapes in the plastic wheel covers.
The group of people were rather relaxed and weren’t threating at all. Someone ‘suggested’ that Hugo should make a small contribution for the damage. He offered 40 000 UGX, which they gladly accepted. In all this time the traffic still haven’t moved so no-one behind Hugo was even angry at him for stopping in the ‘road’ and getting out. Finally Hugo could turn right and just as he was about to be home free someone from the earlier group started banging on the window and said that a mechanic had arrived and that it would cost more than 40 000 UGX to repair. 20 000 more would, however, do the job. Hugo handed over the money and drove off, glad that someone didn’t get violent or anything.
The City Tyres shop did a good job of taking off the wheel, finding the leak taking the tyre of the rim, putting in a inner patch, putting the tyre on the rim again. Then jacking the Hilux up, taking the spare off (with F1 like pit stop speed), putting the fixed and inflated wheel on and putting the spare on the rear carrier again. All of the above was done for only R25 (Twenty Five Rand!), complete with an A4 colour invoice. It had very few South African products which is probably a good thing for the local economy, at least they had Freshpak Rooibos tea.
We could finally set off to Entebbe at 13:00. The 30km took about 40 minutes. There were buildings the enitre way from Kampala to Entebbe. On the hills on the outskirts of Kampala the green suburbs and large red-roofed houses almost looks like some Southern European scene like in Croatia or somewhere.
In Entebbe we went to the Botanical gardens, which charged 10 000 UGX per person.
We couldn’t find the ‘garden’ part of the garden, but there were plenty of grass and big trees, some with laminated A4 pages stating the name of the tree. We had a sandwich lunch and then walked around for a bit.
We left at 16:00 and set off to ViaVia a campsite we saw on iOverlander. We had to wait a while to get a gap to go onto the main road, just to be stopped by the police 100m further. Apparently Hugo were driving up a one-way road. The officer insisted that Hugo get out of the car to ‘discuss’ the matter. From the start it was clear what their objective was, to get some cash in their pocket. They said we would have to go to a police station to get a fine of 600 000 UGX, but before you can even say it’s fine let’s go they would basically tell/ask you that you obviously don’t want to do that so what do you suggest. Hugo didn’t ‘suggest’ anything and just kept saying he was sorry he didn’t know it is a oneway road. Finally the officer just said it outright that Hugo should give him 40 000 UGX then he will be ‘forgiven’, an obvious bribe.
We made it to ViaVia a beautiful campsite with it’s own pond on the outskirts of town, they charge $7.5 for camping. From the main tar road it is a short drive on a rough gravel road past some informal stores and houses. The campsite itself is lacking level space for the vehicle, but there were some flat stones that we could drive onto to try and level the vehicle out.
We wanted to braai chicken again, but it didn’t look like they have a fireplace so Caro just cooked chicken in the pot and we made rice with vegetables as well.
After dinner we had some beers and played card games.
The next morning we got up lazily and then decided that we should stay another day. Hugo and Caro mostly worked, while D&S went to town for some exploring. For lunch the Two Monkeys ordered fried Chapati with Humus and Pesto and for dinner a delicious fillet steak. It was a bit too well-done, but it was still deliciously soft and since it was our first steak in months we didn’t complain.