The journey ahead… Crossing the Equator.

Hi readers, it’s been two long weeks since my last write up. I somehow got trapped in life’s other priorities or activities for survival that I almost made a no show in the blogging space. Anyways let’s again begin – what happened after crossing the Equator, the imaginary line on the earth?

In my last blog, I was taking a stroll along the equator checking for the flora, the climatic variations and so on. It was an amazing place honestly. We then boarded our vehicle and in no time set for the journey ahead that was waiting for us in the hills and forests. After a few minutes, I was dumbfounded with something very contrasting that I got to see. What diversity! What a contrast! To my right side, I could see only tall cactuses and to my left were the Pine trees. As I took pleasure in such rare sights, I also kept thinking about how it was possible. How can God create such varied creatures at the same place? Is it because of the Equator?? Many questions kept haunting my mind as we were all travelling.

Next few hours, we had reached a beautiful town called Mbarara, which is essential called the land of milk or the milk capital of this beautiful country. Mbarara is rich in cattle milk and also good vegetables and fruits as it is blessed by a good climate and fertile soil. By looks, this place has some resemblance with the capital city, Kampala from where we had started our journey that morning. But it would not be wrong if we call it next biggest town after the capital city. It was time for lunch at this place. We were checking for some Indian food in our Google maps because we knew the journey ahead was a bit adventurous one or something uncertain with respect to our Indian bellies that always crave for some rice or roti even on African soil. We knew the next two days, we would be in a state of deprivation from Indian food. We have to eat as per the soil and the African cooking styles. Not bad! We must explore to taste everything in life. In few seconds time, Google suggested an Indian restaurant.We got off our vehicle and headed for our lunch. To our surprise, we found another big group of Indian people in that restaurant who were already seated there. My husband knew a few of those people and so he began chatting with them until the food was ordered and delivered to us at our table. Another surprise! We had ordered chicken biryani in a place where Asian people were so meagre in number but the taste was unbelievably awesome. I really appreciate those African cooks inside those Indian restaurants who have been doing such good jobs, catering us such good Indian food according to our taste buds in their own lands. No way, they will let you down as they are so adept in cooking everything from rice, pulao, biryani, roti, naan, veg and non-veg all Indian delicacies. They have really learnt so well that we being Indians feel ashamed at times.

The price and quantity of our lunch were worth in fact more than worth, honestly speaking. It was a wow experience for all Indians who had dropped in at the restaurant that day. With smiles in our faces and a contented heart and stomachs, we then left the place and headed for the next part of the journey. With anticipation in our minds, what would come next, we again boarded our vehicle and again set forth. Just after an hour probably, we found ourselves in the midst of a lush green tea estate- the Ankole Tea Estate. At first sight, most Indians would get confused.That tea estate resembled some tea gardens of Darjeeling or those of South India. But careful observation of the entire tea estate would actually make you feel more happy and surprising because, in the distance, one could also spot the array of multiple pine trees. What nature’s backdrop. We couldn’t help to get off our vehicle to strike some poses with the lovely setting. A rare sight indeed to be treasured for one’s lifetime. We almost spent fifteen to twenty minutes. We were almost lost in nature’s lap and abundance of greenery and fresh oxygen that enveloped us. After some time, we got ready for the subsequent part the trip. Our final part of our journey was now heading towards the forest. We had to be on time at our forest lodge. Forests calling finally!

Check out the pine trees and tea gardens in one frame. Isn’t it contrasting??
Our small team of the two day trip to the equator and beyond
Reaching Ankole Tea Estate, a Williamson Magor Enterprise in Africa

Breakfast at the Equator


It was morning 6 a.m of the Easter weekend on 20th April,2019.The skies were still dark outside. It is normal to have dark skies until 6 to 6.30 a.m.here in Uganda. The sun actually starts giving its first look by 7 a.m. The alarm clock failed to ring on time that day. We were supposed to start our trip to the Elizabeth National Park (final destination)exactly at 6 in the morning.Actually, we had to cover many other sites on the way in those two days of weekend cum Easter holidays. Also, our target to reach the final destination was 3 p.m as this was the last cut off time for check-in into a forest lodge inside the forest. It was unlike a typical hotel timing where you have the liberty to check in at any time of the day or night. Initially, we thought we would not be able to make it on time. The situation was like-We either drop the plan or have to take some risk to be on time. But we actually did.Here we go…

I and my better half jumped off the bed to get ready in the quickest possible way so as not to miss the long wished trip during the Easter break this 2019. Luckily we had a sound sleep the preceding night with no worries of last minute packing our mini luggage. Luggage mainly comprised of one pair of clothes, some fruits, cold drinks and some snacks just in case we needed during our forest stay in an untraveled unfamiliar location for us.
We actually started our journey by 6.45 a.m from our residence. We were four including we two, one of my husband’s colleagues and our driver. The city roads looked very clean and clear early morning except for those big trucks and the wholesalers doing their rounds in offloading and purchasing the vegetables and fruits for the day, at the major market hubs.In just half an hour we found ourselves on the newly built expressways. The sun protruded out from the clouds galore as if a UFO was preparing for its landing on this hilly terrain. It was an awesome sight at first glance.In no time, I got busy capturing whatever best sight came on my way until we reached our final destination.

Two hours had passed in the moving vehicle. Already getting hungry as we had left home empty stomach except for a glass of warm water which had almost become one of my morning rituals. We initially felt we must start our breakfast. But later realized that we were about to reach the Equator or the zero degrees latitude, which passes through this part of the globe. Breakfast at the Equator seemed to be a cool idea. It was a kind of Picnic breakfast to be had at the equator.The breakfast consisted of bread, jam, juice tetra packs,hard boiled eggs, pancakes, some sliced fruits and few packets of chips which actually lasted throughout the trip. In a few minutes, we were there- at the equator. It is located in Kayabwe, Mpigi district, about 72 kilometres from the capital city.

Geographically, the equator is the imaginary line on the earth, equidistant from its poles, dividing it into northern and southern hemispheres, or to be more precise, the zero degrees latitude on the earth. Our joy knew no bounds to reach at this long sought after historical landmark of Uganda since the last two years of my stay here. It was altogether a different feeling – as if it was the feeling of an accomplishment long due.Several other tourists both local and foreigners had also dropped in at the place just to have a feel at this significant location of the globe. Serenity cum beauty in the diversity of nature were the major elements to be highlighted. On both sides of the road, there were two concrete structures erected to signify the passing of the imaginary line through them. As if those were two concurrent points of a straight line if I go by the definitions of Geometry. The temperature was warm as expected as it was the middle of the world.

There was a small scientific experiment that was demonstrated to us about our presence at the equator, northern and southern hemisphere. Some enthusiasts even got their names printed in certificates displaying their physical presence or crossing the equator. These certificates were provided to the tourists with some price. Also, few stalls dealing in local art crafts sold t-shirts with expressions like ”I have crossed the equator”.

In no time, like most other visitors, we got busy in capturing the significant spot by our mobile phone cameras. There was a small queue before we got the chance to click our pictures. As we were busy making videos or photo shoots, we were somewhat disturbed by our hungry stomachs. The fire in the belly aggravated to such a level that very soon we had to take a quick break from our photo sessions only to get into our vehicle to gorge ourselves on the picnic- like breakfast that was awaiting us.

After breakfast, we took a small walk along to discover the place with our own senses. The flora of the place was breathtakingly awesome with a wide of variety, starting from the small flowering plants to the towering cactuses that sprung up from the earth’s surface at such regular distances. Then time to say bye bye to this beautiful location just to discover what was there in store for us after crossing equator.
Will see you soon my readers after crossing the equator.
Have a blessed and a joyful weekend!