A Pygmy village was on the agenda and of course New Year’s Eve
After the breakfast we left, going along the lake to get to Kisoro, border town to Rwanda. The landscape was really scenic, good views to the lake and although it was rough road, it was good to drive. The rough road was shorter as the tracks4africa said, so that was the pleasant surprise as we already after a few kilometers reached the tar.
The unpleasant experience was, that we suddenly got a noise from the right front wheel, which we could not locate clearly where it came from. I suspected the brakes, for me it looked like as a spring was broken, but could not really feel something when braking. Anyway we had to go on, because here nobody could have repaired it.
The landscape was hilly, so continuously driving up and down and it was pretty cold, as we were already close to the Virunga mountains. Eventually we reached Kisoro after passing a refugee camp, which was still working, giving home to Congolese refugees. We checked in at Virunga campsite, not a bad place and I had to get a mechanic to open the brake drums to have a look. The lodge manager knew a guy, whom he called and some hours later the guy arrived. We took of the wheel and the brake drum and indeed one of the springs were broken. I sent him to get a new one, but after an hour he came back, the only thing they can do to weld the spring. This was of course complete nonsense to weld a spring, so I told him to get to a workshop, and bend the end, so that it forms a loop where it could be fixed again to the brake shoe.
After a while he came back, the job was properly done and he fixed it again. I took the opportunity, as I had a mechanic, to look into the other brake, front left, as the Land rover did not brake evenly, so something must be wrong there as well. After dismantling we discovered that the seal to the axle was leaking, thus getting oil on the brake linings. But this could not be repaired here, there were no seals available. I lived with that for quite a long time already, so I would manage to live with it for another while. You get used to this when driving a Land Rover. In the evening we again sat together to have some fun. The idea to visit the gorillas came up for a short time, but it was just to expensive 750 US $ per person for about an hour.
New years Eve. In the morning a guy came to offer to guide us to a pygmy village. We agreed and arranged the trip for the afternoon. We negotiated the transport as well and decided to take two motorbikes to go there.
In time the guy appeared and we were driving off. Soon we reached a forest where we parked the motorbikes and walked on. The village chief joined us and lead us to the houses. It was quite impressing how simple they live. Their houses consist basically of some wooden sticks tied together and covered with leafs or the better ones had metal sheets on the roof.
The pygmy are very short, but really friendly and welcomed us with a dance and singing. As they realized that we were enjoying their performance they really turned wild and there singing and dancing got more and more turbulent.
After the performance they showed us their huts. Impressing again. The sad point is that most of them were either drunk or took drugs, especially the younger ones feel that they have no chance for improving their life situation. Although the Ugandan government tries to help them to improve, they are still so much tied to their tradition, so a transition to a better life might take generations.
With mixed feelings we left the place. In the evening we celebrated New years Eve, my cute wife prepared nice dinner and we were having lots of wine and shots and had really fun. At around midnight we had already been frozen to death, so we fast went asleep, as the next day we wanted to cross the border to Rwanda.