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Gilles – A Long Way To Cross The Equator


Gilles – Crossing the Equator on the way from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, Africa

After a straightforward flight Vienna – Istanbul – Entebbe, it was another eight hour drive from Kampala to Lake Bunyonyi where I was to meet up with Heidi. The only pseudo highlight during this long haul is crossing the Equator, where all good tourists have their photo taken at the very landmark. Not to be missed is the demonstration of how water whirls clockwise or anti-clockwise when rushing through an outlet, depending on which side the Equator you stand. What a difference a few meters can make to physics! And yes, for the weight conscious, supposedly you are 3% lighter when standing on the Equator…

Despite its amazing setting, only the early morning haze gives Kampala a magic touch. Then the non-descript buildings are barely visible and the contrast between the reddish-colored soil of the surrounding hills and the green trees is most dramatic. Reality hits hard when you drive through this endless city with no real center, made of low buildings, congested with traffic even on a Sunday morning.

Heading southwest towards the National Parks in western Uganda took us along the shores of Lake Victoria, the second biggest body of fresh water in the world after Lake Baikal in Siberia. Again, the hilly landscape is stunningly green and lush, displaying a picturesque contrast to the dark reddish soil.

Thanks to a brand new road, we covered the distance Kampala – Kabale in about eight hours. There we picked up Heidi, who had spent 10 days travelling around in Rwanda by herself. Having done so, she figured she could do anything and chose the most difficult way of going to Kabale, through the mountains via Kisoro. But that’s another story…


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