I don't like to admit it to myself, but it has become harder for me to sleep. I find myself staring at the ceiling at night, worrying about what will become of the US, how things will progress here in Uganda with the Corona Virus, and how the world will overcome such an all-encompassing and heartbreaking disaster as this pandemic. Will things ever be like they once were?
But right before Tim and I arrived here in Uganda (where the border closed around us due to the pandemic), we had the opportunity to travel through a small country that could really teach the world something about getting back on your feet after tragedy strikes: Rwanda.
By Tim Notier
Sometimes life can seem difficult, unfair, with uncomfortable situations that seem to have no end in sight. But hopefully some of our own experiences can help shed some light on positive outcomes. That silver lining may seem thin at times, but if you just keep pushing forward, things will turnaround for the better.
The following is an excerpt from the book 2Up and Overloaded.
Chapter 9 - Turnarounds
Marisa and I wanted to provide a little update of our lockdown situation. Sadly, our crew of five has whittled down to three. We said goodbye to Lucy over two months ago, and a couple weeks ago Leo flew back to the States.
Now it is just Braden, Marisa, and me bunkering down here in Kampala. We would much rather be back out on the road, but we are thankful for the time that we have had here. We were able to participate in the Arm Chair Festival and had a blast talking with The Sidecar Guys. In a time where international overland travel has been halted, it was great to participate and to be part of an event that so many world travelers were involved in. Keep the adventure spirit alive!
That's right, while the Coronavirus makes its rampage around the world, we are in Uganda. The US State Department has just emailed me their last alert notifying any US citizens still in Uganda that there may be one final “care lift" flight out that will head back to the USA. This would be our last chance out, and our last chance to get home. It sounds dire and certainly scary, and the situation in the world is dire and scary, but after weighing all of our options, we have decided to stay in Uganda.
This has not been an easy choice, as it seems that finding a perfect “safe haven" no longer is a reality for us, or anyone for that matter. But I will try to convey in this post a sense of what life is like here in Uganda, and what our reasons are for staying. Plus, we'll give you a little tour of our new home.
In any emergency situation, my first instinct is always to go where I feel most safe. In the case of this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that is gripping the globe, that's my first reaction once again: to leave Uganda and fly home to Chicago where I can be with friends and family.
Our time traveling through Tanzania was a bit different than what most tourists do. Due to costs, we didn't go on any safaris and we didn't hike up Mount Kilimanjaro or snorkel around Zanzibar. But what we did see and do in Tanzania was truly memorable, unique, and special, not because of lions and elephants, but because of the people we met along the way.
A New Adventure Motorcycle Book
By: Tim Notier
If you only read one book this year that features a couple riding 2Up on a KTM1190, make sure it's 2Up and Overloaded - Chicago to Panama.
“Africa is surprisingly expensive," we'd heard time and time again from fellow travelers. But so far during our Africa trip, we had been able to find cheap food, accommodation, and camping. We even rented a 4x4 car in Namibia for a decent price and went on a “self-drive" safari in Etosha National Park for only $6 a person to enter. While some people were spending thousands of dollars on safaris in Africa, we'd spent a fraction of that, and I'd begun to think that everyone had been wrong.
And then we got to Tanzania.
“You will never want to leave Malawi," is what people told us. “The lake is perfectly placid and warm, and swimming in it is divine." Hearing things like this got me excited to visit this small African nation bordering the most biodiverse lake in the world: Lake Malawi. But then we also heard the many warnings: “Watch out for the Bilharzia parasite," and “Beware of crocodiles."
Moreover, it was going to be $75 per person just for the visa to enter Malawi, and because we happened to be visiting in the midst of the rainy season, the weather would be at its worst. In the end, we worried the high price to see this small country would not be worth it for us.
We entered Zambia from Botswana through one of the most difficult border crossings we’ve ever experienced. We were traveling with our motorcycle friend, Emiliano, and crossing borders with another traveler usually makes things easier. With three people, two of them can try to figure out the procedures and stand in separate lines, and one can watch the bikes (me).
But for some reason, nothing seemed to be easy when it came to the convoluted process that was getting a visa and vehicle entry permit into Zambia. The heat, the lack of signage, the expense of it ($50 USD for a Zambia/Zimbabwe visa, $20 USD for road tax, more money for carbon taxes, insurance, paying fixers, all in Zambian Kwacha), and most of all, the chaos of the place, made it a horrible experience.
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2Up and Overloaded
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