One of the truest tests of friendship is taking a long road trip and coming out alive. Its more than being stuck in a car for close to 12 hours. It is about agreeing or failing to agree on the music and the volume, on whether to have the windows up or down, on whether to make that stop or not. It is about the small and big decisions alike.
Fortunately, my favourite road trippers aren’t any different from that. We had all that drama and more, but what stood out was the laughter and singing/rapping along to “old-school” jams (music from the 1990s). The culprits are reading this and propably rapping all over again.
And that’s what makes each road trip unique and eventful: a “ride–or–die” crew. Nine (9) friends and soon to be friends heading to Kigali and this is how we rolled out:
1. Breakfast at café Javas
You’ve got to keep the energy levels high and this is a great way to get pumping. In a bid to save time, we grabbed snacks to go; a chicken pie and any choice of Ugandan coffee never disappoint.
2. Cross the Equator like you mean it
You probably stopped here as a child and think these poses are behind you. But don’t be shy, get out and snap it at these iconic signs. The endless options of poses should give you enough insta-ready memories.
3. Convenience stop in Lyantonde
Keeping rehydrated on long journeys is always advisable. I point it out because it is easy to get carried away by the excitement of the trip and forget to drink enough water. Court Yard Hotel, has clean sanitary facilities and a wide range of refreshments to suit your needs. Make a quick convenience stop and enjoy the beautiful gardens or maybe a swim before hitting the road again.
4. Lunch in Mbarara
We chanced upon a restaurant within the city center. I opted for a coconut milkshake that was quite yummy. And although the heat on the balcony made our sitting uncomfortable, the food was pretty decent. I’m still on the hunt for an alternative restaurant that better suits me.
5. Chasing hills from Ntungamo to Kabale
If this is your first visit to the area, nothing prepares you for the picturesque views of the rolling hills, matooke plantations and grazing cattle. Additionally, the vegetable and fruit markets along the road are a great one stop shopping center for such supplies.
6. Crossing the border for hours
This took longer than we anticipated. Getting our passports stamped was the easy part, clearing the cars on the other hand took way too long. Eventually, we spent close to 3 hours at the border post in Katuna/Gatuna (Kabale). I hope it will be faster next time.
We arrived in Kigali safe and tired, but never too tired to enjoy the party! Catch me next week for my highlights of Kigali.