On the Equator

Monday 10th August

We are now in the southern hemisphere. A few weeks ago I stood at zero degrees longitude at Greenwich Observatory in London and today I stood at zero degrees latitude on the Equator.IMGP4676

There are some similarities between the two places – a long line painted on the ground; some publicity about the significance of the line and a lot of people making money out of it from tourists. Inevitably it is in lower key in Uganda. It is also considerably hotter – we were there at midday and there were virtually no shadows – the sun being almost directly overhead.

An interesting display takes place on the Equator. We all know about bathwater spinning as it goes down the drain. Two metres on the north side of the Equator line, and two metres on the south side of the line, there is a large funnel containing water with a drain in the centre. For some money, a local enterprising business man places a flower on the water. In the funnel on the north side of the line it spins clockwise as the water drains out. On the south side it spins anti clockwise.

This is either genuine, and so quite significant, or it is a put up job and he is manipulating the flow of the water. I do not know which is true. If you know that it might actually be true – please tell me !


After eleven weary hours of being thrown about inside a minibus we have arrived at Rukingiri – our southernmost destination. It was dark when we arrived so I cannot tell you any more – I will do so tomorrow – all I can say that as the night drew in we went through some very hilly scenery not unlike the Peak District.

Today’s funny sign entries are “No stopping, parking, flooding” – this was a road sign – I think the last word was meant to explain the previous two words. A keen cyclist passed us with a T shirt which read “Amersham Cycling Club” – a long way from home, I thought (the T-shirt not the cyclist) but today’s winner is the label on my room key which reads “Bookshelf”.

I went looking for a room called Bookshelf and had to report failure to the receptionist who apologised and said it was the right key for my room but the wrong label. I had to ask what, then, is my room actually called. The answer was “Tigerfish” – obvious really.


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