Challenges, Storms, and Unexpected Luxury

After our rest day in Musanze, we have a long stretch ahead of us with many meters of altitude (Musanze to Lake Bunyonyi: 115 km, 1660 m elevation gain). Additionally, we cross the border into Uganda, which poses an administrative challenge! The internet collapses, the queues grow longer, and people (especially cyclists) become increasingly impatient!

Finally, we proceed manually! Soon, we have our stamp and continue onwards. Compared to Rwanda, Uganda is significantly "dirtier"; here, single-use plastic bags are allowed again, and that is immediately noticeable.

Today, it rains frequently, and at 2450 meters altitude, a thunderstorm descends upon us, causing the temperature to drop suddenly by about 10 degrees. Fortunately, it improves as we descend the mountain. Before reaching Lake Bunyonyi, our destination for today, we still have to conquer a 5 km gravel road with some elevation gain. But then, a dreamy campsite awaits us.

On our rest day at Lake Bunyonyi, we start with a leisurely breakfast, followed by some household chores like laundry and cleaning our bicycles. Afterwards, I join a few people to visit the local market in the nearby village—an authentic experience! Additionally, I indulge in my first taste of Chapati, a type of flatbread prepared on a hot plate.

February 6th

On Tuesday, February 6th, we continue our journey. We cycle a total of 90 km with 992 meters of elevation gain. However, it's a very rainy day. First, we traverse about 5 km over the gravel road back to the main road, then I find an Airtel. My eSIM barely functions, and my Garmin app needs to be reloaded. The young man at the Airtel store is very helpful; I'm able to at least load the app using his Wi-Fi, but the poor data connection persists.

Well, I'll survive (that's why the blog took a bit longer). Unfortunately, a sudden thunderstorm erupts, and we can only take shelter in a small store. The owner flees to the next room... We're stuck there for 1.5 hours; luckily, today's ride is only 90 km! Nonetheless, I'm feeling quite cold today... not in a good condition. Thankfully, the sun shines again upon our arrival at the campsite.

February 7th

On February 7th, we face a long day: 144 km with 994 meters of elevation gain. We cycle until Malongo. Today, I really have to take it slow; I notice that I'm getting weaker, especially on the climbs. I actually don't feel healthy and hope it doesn't get worse. On this long stretch, I have to pace myself from the start.

8. Februar

On February 8th, we cycle to Lake Nagugabo: 72 km with 827 meters of elevation gain. Luckily, it's a relatively easy day! I still feel quite weak, so I'm cycling relatively slowly. The weather is still rainy, but the sun comes out pretty quickly after each storm, and the temperatures rise. The tour takes us through Masaka, a traffic nightmare with incredibly poor air quality.

The campsite at Lake Nagugabo, on the other hand, is again wonderfully beautiful. Everyone has plenty of space for their tents. There's a family of monkeys around, so we're advised not to keep any food inside our tents or leave anything in front of them. It would be a shame if our cycling shoes were missing in the morning. Also, the Ugandan population greets us incredibly kindly along the roadside. Especially the children are absolutely thrilled when they see us!

February 9th

On February 9th, we continue our journey to Ssese Island: 69 km with 606 meters of elevation gain. Fortunately, it's another relatively easy day. I'm still feeling pretty bad, but at least I can still cycle. We have about 30 km to go until the ferry, which departs at 10 o'clock. Along the way, there are many birds to observe.

After the brief crossing, we have about 30 km of gravel road until we reach Ssese Island. It's truly stunning here! However, I have a very terrible night. I wisely set up my tent near the toilet, where I spend a lot of time :-(

At 4 o'clock, it starts raining, adding to the already challenging situation. We were supposed to have our bags packed by 5:30 am... just great! The thunderstorm delays the loading of our ferry. We have a leisurely breakfast and wait until the rain subsides. Then we cycle 1.5 km to the ferry. Loading the ferry proves to be an adventure in itself!

The crossing takes about 4 hours, and we're quite cramped under the deck. After unloading in Entebbe, we still have about 6 km to cycle to our campsite. Since I still feel quite miserable, I decide (along with a few other cyclists) to get a hotel room. At Sarah's Jet Villas, I get a very nice room—what a luxury!!!

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