The sun blessed us with its warmth during breakfast. We were expecting one of our hardest climbing days so far—up 1,400 meters in altitude. Based on that, I didn’t pack my rain jacket. Even if it rained, it would be too hot anyway to wear, so I thought.
Half an hour into our ride, the rain started. An hour into our ride, I knew the rain was here to stay for the remainder of our riding day. Two hours into our ride, I was soaking wet from top to toe and cold despite climbing as fast as I could.
I was shivering during lunch. In fear of my body cooling down and me a catching a cold, I only stopped briefly for a few slices of oranges and a fruit salad—perfect high-vitamin lunch for that weather. Thanks Wynand!
My morale, however, was at its lowest. “Barely recovered from my diarrhea and now I’m getting sick again!” I kept blaming myself all day long for not packing my rain jacket. My fingers were white and shriveled. My thumbs were so cold it hurt to change my gears. For the entire cycling day, I struggled to live in the moment but was only looking forward to changing into dry clothes.
Finally, I reached the dirt road into Lake Bunyonyi. I thought the hardest part of the climbing had been accomplished, but it was still to come. The dirt road was so steep at times that I had to get off and push my bike for half an hour!
Eventually, however, I reached our camp and was rewarded for my efforts:
- Due to my need to keep my body warm, I had climbed quicker than I would have otherwise, and thereby reached our camp just after 1pm, leaving a whole afternoon to chill.
- There was hot water in the shower! Mind you, this has been quite a luxury on our tour.
- I was still able to get accommodation in one of the big permanent tents with proper beds for two nights. That way, I can keep my gear try and finally get a good night’s sleep—yahoo! Simple things indeed make one quite happy on this tour!
Stage 34: Ruhanga – Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda), 94km
Road & traffic condition:
Scenic climbing on great tar; 8km challenging steep dirt road into camp at lake Bunyonyi.
Rain all day long.
A la carte at the lodge.
Rest day tomorrow.