This old Land Cruiser had it’s issues… You had to jiggle the gearshift to get the vehicle into reverse. If you rolled the driver’s window up all the way it would roll itself right back down again. The key would only work one side up in the lock despite it looking exactly the same on both sides. It rattled and clattered alarmingly on rough roads. And I loved it.
That old Toyota Land Cruiser was just the right vehicle for the job.
Through the mud and ruts, up the side of a mountain, through thunderstorms and washed out roads, across an entire country… This green beast got me there. With this vehicle I enjoyed experiences that will become memories treasured for a lifetime.
There are swarms of them, fleets of them… There are boda bodas all over the road.
Boda boda is the most common form of transportation in Uganda and indeed much of eastern Africa. Part taxi, part courier, part light freight service, a boda boda is motorcycle for hire.
Every town has a gangs of boda bodas loitering along the main roads awaiting fares. They are everywhere along the roads, often laden with two or three passengers, or piled high with pineapples, cassava, or concrete. I would say they rule the road, but numbers do not overcome mass. Heavy lorries rule the road, everyone gets out of a lorries’ way including the boda bodas.
I have a growing collection of wreck photographs, to which I added another this week. What is it about the local roads that causes this?
Many of the wreck photos in my collection came from the old saddle road. That road was truly dangerous, I did not even photograph every wreck I encountered. Not so much anymore, the rebuilt road is much safer. there are still wrecks, just not nearly as often. It is usually tired or drunk drivers running through the guardrail at the end of the road. That has happened four times now.
The latest wreck on Waikoloa Road seems to have been a single vehicle affair, encountered while returning from work. Best guess is that the driver put a couple wheels on the gravel shoulder for some reason, from there they lost control and flipped the vehicle. There was gravel all over the road just above the accident site.
Aside from the old Saddle Road, island roads are just not that bad. In comparison to the winding country roads I grew up on these should be much safer. Yet the accident count seems much higher in proportion to the cars on the road. It is also not that unusual to witness some really bad driving.
Checking the data shows Hawaiʻi is not the worst state. The traffic fatality rate is right in the middle for the states, about 1.01 deaths per 100 million miles driven for 2013. Data for Hawaiʻi County would be interesting to compare, a different situation than the other islands with our more rural nature. Hawaii is noted to have the largest proportion of single vehicle wrecks in the same set of data.
This morning there is news of three more fatalities, a fiery crash down in Kona that closed the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway all morning. A reminder to be careful on the local roads.