SIMON (28):

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I get up again early in the morning (is this a holiday?) and after throwing a last look on the falls I’m off to catch the 9 o’ clock ferry boat across the river in Paraa. I’m racing on the 25 km of dirt roads towards the ferry… and I make it just in time!

Than I still have another 20 minutes to stop sweating and relax before the ferry actually departures. You should think that after almost two years of Africa I might have learnt.

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I drive to the north gate of the park. I see buffalos, elephants and different kinds of antelopes. I’m not a big animal spotter but even I cannot miss them when they lounge around on the road. I never asked my self how dangerous it is to do all of this on a motorcycle and maybe I don’t really want to know the answer.

I guess the Ugandan national parks will stay accessible to motorcycles until something bad happens. For now I’m just happy that I’m not the cause of this future motorcycle ban.

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I leave the park and I drive 400 km towards Kampala and Entebbe. It’s noon, the sun burns at its highest point and only the typical East-African speed bumps wake me up from time to time.

tak-tak-tak, the short ones, than whoop-whoop, the two big ones and then again tak-tak-tak, three short ones. Some of the people responsible for these roads must have some shares in shock absorber companies.

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Pieter, Lobke and Kiga

I arrive at Pieter and Lobkes’ place in Entebbe. Two old friends from Kigali who’ve just started a guesthouse, Via Via. Their loyal dog, Kiga, greets me. Both Pieter and Lobke are busy finishing the place. They arrived only three weeks ago and worked every day like a bunch of maniacs. Painters, a seamstress, plumbers, bricklayers are busy doing their jobs. In the middle of all the hustle and bustle are Pieter and Lobke managing the workers, paying them, giving everything the final touch.

Their days are long and resting doesn’t apply to them. In comparison to our Kigali days they both look a bit skinny and tired. They’re definitely pushing their limits.

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guys at work, building the terras for the new restaurant and bar

 

To help them out, I give their plumber, Simon (28 years) a ride into town. He’s not much of a talker but I find out he’s not married and has been a plumber fro 10 years. The ice finally breaks a bit when I make a stereotypical joke about the incomprehensible fact that he as a Ugandan only has one girlfriend. By the time we’re done laughing I have to drop him op at the hardware store.

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hitchhiker Simon, the plumber

I stay two days at their place, to relax a bit. I’ve been on the move every day since I left Kigali. The one thing that Entebbe especially has to offer, apart from an international airport, is rest. I know these two don’t really seem to coincide, but it does.

The other thing this small city has to offer are the botanical gardens, where you can spot the very rare northern European and American, bearded ornithologist and also 600 of other exotic birds.

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beer with view on lake Victoria in the botanical gardens of Entebbe.
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The obligatory lazy street dog who becomes a bit annoying when you give her too much attention.
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botanical gardens in Entebbe

I really enjoy my stay at the guest house and also the great company of my two friends. I try to help them out a bit by taking some pictures for their website:

http://viavia.world/en/africa/entebbe

The Via Via Entebbe guesthouse is a perfect point of departure for safaris, gorilla tracking, rafting, without all the traffic hustle of Kampala. It sounds a lot like advertisement. But belief me, it’s true!

Pieter, is a fixer, a guy with a lot of common sense and a huge drive, Lobke on the other hand is caring and gives the feminine touch. Here are some pictures if your not yet convinced:

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When I leave and drive through the gates of their guesthouse, I think about the great risks they have taken. But at the same time I know they will succeed.

 


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