Last weekend a group of bold trekkers joined me on a quest to conquer the 20km Dog Loop Trek, our #trekwithtim challenge for the month of May. What a great, great time we had! We trekked in the rain, mingled with vendors selling crafts by the road, traded jokes with boda riders who found it funny that we were walking for fun, and best of all, finished the trek in good time.

It took took us 3 hours to complete the 14km Uganda Colony Trek last month so we assumed the 20km challenge would take us at least 4 hours. We beat that time by 15 minutes, logging back at Red i Lounge 3 hours and 45 minutes after we set off. If they ever dare to make trekking a category in the Olympics, I’m sure we’d bring home gold!

You’re probably asking yourself, ‘What’s all the fuss with trekking?’ Well, if you haven’t tried a trekking challenge before, there are some good reasons why you should. Besides being an easy way to exercise all your muscles, trekking is a fun way to spend your free time. You get to meet new people, learn about places you didn’t know, and experience new adventures each time.

We bumped into the rain early on the trek…

We had just started the first leg from Red i Lounge when the rains began. It started as light drizzles just as we were crossing through Total Gas Station (Nakawa) to get onto New Port Bell Road, but the team was determined to let nothing get in its way so we elected to press on.

It was hard at first. The rain just kept increasing as we blazed passed Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Main Campus, and down into the the famous Middle East valley where Bugolobi market was constructed. But then it was just getting started. A heavy torrent descended on us as we scaled  Luthuli Rise to reach the hill’s crest, but luckily the skies relented and spared our drenched walking gear.

From Luthuli Rise, we went down the hill to Luthuli Avenue, crossed over Nakivubo Channel and slipped into Namuwongo through the little-known Godown Rd in the Industrial Area. By now we were starting to get dry but our spirits were very high. Braving the rain had left everyone feeling like a winner and the most challenging hill was behind us.

Along Bukasa Road we found spectacular views of Luzira. Few people know that you can peer directly into the prison compound there, but just around the bend, we were in for a pleasant surprise. We bumped into a street vendor selling lamp-holders and drinking glasses made out of recycled glass. There is no bound to the creativity on Kampala’s streets!

We also met a guy who makes colourful chairs.

From here we smoothed into Kansanga and trekked that long stretch to Nsambya via Kampala’s most famous entertainment hub – Kabalagala – where the night never really ends. As usual, the trek ended with a feast. A mouth-watering platter of goat meat, beef sausages, pilau, gravy, and potatoes was waiting to congratulate us for finishing the trip. Thanks to Red I Lounge for the platter treat.

As we stuffed tasty meat down our tummies we shared travel experiences and talked about the trek. I was happy to learn that though most trekkers thought they wouldn’t make the distance, it turned out to be manageable. One of the trekkers said, “I was thinking of getting a boda boda three times from Kansanga (halfway through the trek), but I saw the rest going strong and I kept to their pace till the end.”

It’s a good thing he didn’t give up. By the time we arrived at Red i Lounge, we were all so fresh, that our friends thought we hadn’t walked at all. “Bring on the next trek already, I can’t wait for the June challenge”, were the words from the trekking team.

#trekwithtim #kampalatrek #kampala