On the Road in Uganda

Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

December 2, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

We left today at 6am to begin the long drive to view the mountain gorilla in Rwanda. We should arrive tonight at around 6pm. We pitch our tents and the cook team cook while we laze around. Tomorrow we go to see the gorillas.

We spent the night at Hot Chilli Hotel in Kampala and arrived there at around 8pm. We all upgraded to either a dorm or single room. I chose a room over a dorm as I need time to recharge my social battery.

By the time I arrived, I was so hungry I could have eaten a nun’s arse through a mahogony convent door. Although I’m largely vegetarian or, more cortectly, flexitarian, I had a big barbecue platter of pork and chicken. It was delicious 😋. I slept like a log that night and had dreams of trucks falling off cliffs.

I enjoy these long journeys. These’s a certain rythym about them. You know you can’t go anywhere so you just surrender to the rocking motion of the truck, the sound of the wind whistling by, the changing landscapes and differing weather, temperature and elevations. I usually lose focus of the destination and just enjoy the journey.

We passed many African villages on the way and they all looked similar although I’m sure they weren’t. Most seemed to be stretched along the side of the road with many shops and people selling things. They were all full of activity and vibrant, if a bit shabby.

Half of us played cards during the trip here while the rest of us read or snoozed. I was in the latter camp.

The highlight drama was when one of the young women put on her coat as it was getting chilly. She found a spider on it spinning a web on her coat to hold its eggsack. We decided not to kill it but to liberate the spider and eggs at next stop. This we did. The spider wasn’t that big, about the size of a fingernail, but looked very spidery; about 5/10 on the shudder scale. I got real close to her and would have let her climb onto my hand if I knew she wasn’t poisonous; I wasn’t sure.

Journey coming to an end now and we will soon be at our camp


Arrival Kampala

December 2, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

Arrives in Kampala for a pit stop en route to Rwanda to view mountain gorillas in the forest.

It is the capital and largest city of Uganda. The city proper was estimated to have a population of 1,680,800 people on 31st July 2019.

Kampala is reported to be among the fastest growing cities in Africa, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent,[8] by City Mayors. Kampala has been ranked the best city to live in East Africa, ahead of Nairobi and Kigali, by Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York City.

Unfortunaly, it was dark as we arrived but the vibrancy of the city was unmistakable. There was great energy all around. We passed by some food markets and the smell of cooking food was mouth-watering. I got a sense of a very alive confident city.

We stopped off to but provisions for the next few days and, as always, I got great pleasure from sering things I have never seen before or familiar brands in Swaheli language. I was surprised by the number of expats around.


Equator Line

December 2, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

On the equator line. We’re in a lovely cafe and shop run by a charity to help children whose parents have AIDS.

There was a demonstration of water flowing down a funnel clockwise and counterclockwise, depending on which side of the equator you’re on. It looked very impressive but we’re having a debate now in the cafe to see ifs it’s a trick or not.

Any boffins out there with a definite answer?


Kabale

December 2, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

Stopped here to buy samosas and use ATM. I got 2 samosas for 1000 schillings, about 25 €uro cent for both. They were tasty on the outside and bland on the inside, just rice and some flavourings. Meh…

A guy called Mike came on board to tell us about trekking to see chimps. Sounds like quite a challenging trek but worthwhile. I doubt if I’d make it with my gammy foot..


Lake Buryonyi Viewing Stop

December 2, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

Stopped here for view. 15km away from camp


Arrived at Lake Bunyianyo

December 2, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

We’ll be spending three days and two nights here. Our reason for being here is to view the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is very strictly managed and only a certain number of people are allowed in each year. We will be divided into three groups of six people, one Tues, one Weds and one on Thurs. I’ll talk more about mountain gorillas tomorrow.

We arrived at campsite in the late afternoon, following the long journey from Kampala. It looked like a nice place at the edge of the lake and arranged over several layers. I went to pitch my tent and discovered that the footprint of my tent, because of the guy ropes, was greater than the available pitches, which were on raised banks. My alternative was to pitch it on a section of grass that was a bit soggy. I wasn’t worried about the tent leaking but more concerned about the damp atmosphere. One of the local guys here said that ith can flood in that area. It’s also the rainy season. Being Irish, I don’t like rain or damp. On the spur of the moment, I said, feck it, I’ll upgrade. So, I did, to a little ensuite cottage. It was expensive by local standards but cheap by European ones.

The cottage is quite basic but perfectly adequate. It has a huge king-size bed and spotlessly clean although the decor might have been copied from a 1970’s Moscow magazine for interior design. It had a nice veranda with chairs and a table and overlooks the lake. It’s grand.

I settled it and then went to the cooking and eating area where Chui was parked. Chui is the truck’s name. Chui is the Swaheli for leopard, a favourite animal of Often, our driver. We were planning to eat at 7.30ish so I hung around until the food was ready. I had a cup of tea and tried chatting with some of the others but felt a bit out of it. I wasn’t sure why but felt very tired.

We have a young Brazilian couple on the trip and one of them was on the cook team. She cooked an amazing Mexican meal which was delicious. I enjoyed it but, unusually, didn’t feel like seconds. Although I rarely have seconds. I always feel like having seconds. Or on occasions, thirds; as demonstrated by my big belly. I thought this was a sign something was going on in the body. Another person stated that they felt a bit ill earlier on and wondered if they were becoming dehydrated. I thought this was possibly the case with me as I don’t seem to have much of a thirst reflex. I can go for a who day without drinking anything until I suddenly feel extremely thirsty. Then I only drink a mouthful or to


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