Challenges in Uganda & Kenya

After the two rest days in Entebbe, I am fully rejuvenated, and my health has significantly improved. This is much needed as we have five quite challenging days of cycling ahead of us.

Stage 17: Entebbe to Jinja, 119 km, 1336 hm

We cycle approximately 30 km past the outskirts of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The traffic is terrible, and the air quality is dreadful (comparable to smoking 1-2 packs of cigarettes!!!). Finally, we reach our small ferry, which transports 5 cyclists plus bikes at a time, saving us from cycling further around Lake Victoria. However, our journey continues on an unpaved road... 20 km in mud, plus rain... GREAT!!!

When we reach our lunch truck, the first task is to wash our bikes. Fortunately, the remaining route to our Camp Kingfisher by Lake Victoria is paved.

Stage 18: Jinja to Nabweyo, 120 km, 911 hm

Today is a long day, but I'm feeling much better, and the road is paved. The first 50 km involve quite a bit of traffic and smog. After that, we turn onto a side road, and it becomes very beautiful. However, it's very hot, and unfortunately, my GoPro stops working in the heat... what a pity :-( ...but it's not essential for life!

Stage 19: Nabweyo to Kapchowa, 98 km, 1816 hm

Today is a tough day: the first kilometers are relatively flat, then comes a climb with gradients reaching up to 12%, which is quite challenging in the heat. It's relatively hot, even though we're at an altitude of up to 2100 meters. And the following days, we'll continue cycling at altitudes of over 1800 meters.

Finally, we arrive at the Spiri Waterfall, and the ascent is completed. Kapchorwa, our destination, is the training center for Ugandan marathon runners. The next morning, we actually encounter a group of runners during their morning training session.

Stage 20: Kapchorwa to Bush Camp, 93 km, 1791 hm

Today, we have many meters of elevation to conquer again, but there are numerous small ascents, which simplifies matters somewhat. Additionally, we cross the border into Kenya today.

The transition from Rwanda to Uganda was quite lengthy, but today everything is running smoothly: stamping out of Uganda, stamping into Kenya, and continuing our journey. In Kenya, the road surfaces are quite rough, and most notably, there are many UNMARKED speed bumps... terrible!!!

In both Uganda and Kenya, the roads are almost consistently lined with small villages or farms, meaning you're hardly ever "alone"; people, especially children, line the roadside and light up with joy at the sight of us. We seem to be the attraction of the day, as they eagerly practice their English, greeting us with "How are you, how are you..." from all directions!!!

Tonight, we're essentially camping in the woods, meaning showers consist of 2-3 liters of water from a bottle, and the bathroom is a shovel in the woods. However, it's incredibly peaceful, and we're rewarded with a phenomenal starry sky.

Stage 21: Bush Camp to Eldoret, 122 km, 1067 hm

On a undulating route, we make our way to Eldoret today. The road conditions are not entirely easy, and at times, there's quite a bit of traffic. Overall, bus and truck drivers show little consideration for moped or bicycle riders.

Unfortunately, there is indeed an accident; one of our friends is hit by a moped... thankfully, nothing is broken, but there are severe abrasions and bruises. This isn't the first accident; there have been several falls, resulting in fractures and/or very severe bruises. I, too, am slowing down and being more cautious...!!!

Eldoret is the training center for Kenyan marathon runners. We spend the day doing laundry, cleaning our bikes, shopping, and writing blog posts. Tomorrow, we're facing another 110 km with over 2000 meters of elevation gain!

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