Saturday, 23 July 2011


The road less travelled.. generally seems to work out the best to avoid trucks and traffic, but from the map and so many directions lost in translation.. it can be pretty tough to calculate what the surface and gradient will be like before you actually cycle it. Generally there seems to be an inverse relation between the number of people who tell us it's "good, flat, tarmac" and the terrible quality of the road. A red or yellow road on the map could in fact be an almost vertical marram track, strewn with boulders, giant holes, crooked ravines, sand, road works and mud. The further south we went in Uganda the more exciting and unpredictable the roads became and the more spectacular the views. There were clues - such as the word volcano or crater lake in the map - but no contours. It's exciting too that road works continue despite the traffic. The idea of closing a road to allow safe passage while gritters, rollers, water sprinklers and giant diggers cut up and re-form the road, is anathema.

Cycling the pass from Muko to Kisoro in the far south west of Uganda should be set up as an expensive adrenaline activity for those needing a sudden and lasting (several hours) glimpse of their own mortality. The smooth tarmac and "thousand hills of Rwanda" is almost a joy after that.

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