So I’m at the Nile River Explorers hostel in Jinja having just had a bone-warming hot shower and gobbing conditioner on my hair. I’m now in clean (ish) clothes and am waiting for them to figure out my room. I had wanted to stay 2 nights at their campsite at Bujagali Falls, around a 15 minute drive from Jinja, but they only had the second night available and were going to put me in a room at the hostel for the first night. Then, they had a cancellation and I was able to stay a the campsite at both nights.
When I got to the campsite and they showed me to my room, it had such a great view that I asked if I could book it for a third night.
Now don’t me wrong, this doesn’t by any stretch fall into the same category as the places I stayed in Tanzania, it is rustic, my room is cramped and cold, it is open-air so small critters and insects can get in, but the view of the nile and the waterfalls are wonderful. Also, luxury of luxuries, the room has its own electrical outlet so I can charge my stuff. They also do laundry including underwear (which my hostel in Kampala does not). I’m SO excited! It’s like a little pit of paradise.
There’s an open-air bar which overlooks the Bujagali falls of the Nile (we rafted them the day before). It also has free intenet (haven’t yet tested, but everywhere else there has been free interent it usually means computers so slow they time out for nearly every screen), and a novel exchange where you can exchange one book for another, plus 1000 shillings (about $0.60) donated to charity. I had picked up a couple of more novels in the used book store in Kampala so am more than happy to swap them out.
That night the bar was full of either rafters or campers spending the night before rafting the next day. As I get more and more exposure to overland travelers, I find fewer and fewer redeeming qualities. That night I was listening to a bunch of girls tell vomit stories ( “What color is yours when you have no food left in your stomach?” and “…But my boyfriends parents still like me despite the blue stains all over their walls and carpet.”).
But, the bar has played the best music since I’ve been in Kampala. My hostel played the weirdest eclectic mix from Nellie Frutado to Michael Jackson to rap (artists I can’t name), to “wind beneath my wings” whoever that is by. Lots of cheesy stuff. Here they played very little rap and an awful lot of The Killers so I was happy. Though they did play “Lady Lumps” far to often (the Fergie version, not the most excellent Alanis Morressette version which if you haven’t seen you must go to youtube and check out!).
At the bar last night I was talking with my fellow boat-mates until most of them left. But “V”, the Canadian teaching in Oman (before that she taught for 2 years in Japan), is staying at the same hostel as me. As is most everyone else I’ve met here, she is very intresting. She has not lived in canada for close to 4 years and can’t decide what her next step in life will be. She may move to Africa or Europe, as she continues to get her distrance-MA in International Law from the University of London. She has 4 weeks vacation from her job and did the first 2 weeks in Aberdeen Scotland visiting a friend and now was doing 2 weeks around Uganda. She actually went to a lot of the sites I haven’t yet had a chance to make it to, but she’s much better at traveling around by herself to little out-of-the-way places than I am.
Starting around 3pm yesterday it started to rain. So far I’d experienced it raining monsoon-like for a couple of hours and then it stops. This time, it didn’t stop. It rained for the rest of the evening, and around 2 in the morning it started pouring. But, my little steep-roofed room withstood the rain just fine. Of course I was dying to do laundry the next day, but it doesn’t look optimistic for that. I did end up giving them laundry because I rationed a bag of clean wet clothes is better than a bag of dirty wet clothes, which is what I have now! But at the moment the sun is poking thru so who knows, maybe my clothes my dry a tad before I leave tomorrow.
The only negative thus far is there is only one bathroom which is really far from my room. They also only have hot water in the evenings, so will need to test it out tonight, but the bathrooms definitely are not luxurious here.
Today I took the company’s free “shuttle” (aka open cattlecar-like truck — you’ll have to see the photos) to Jinja from the campsite and had breakfast so I could take my malaria meds. It is a cute little cafe. Then I’ll walk down the rest of main street and go over to see the source of the nile. Unfortunately, I took a decongestent that the folks at the pharmacy swore wouldn’t make me tired. They were wrong! Right now I have that delightful “medicine head” feeling and would like nothing more tan to take a nap, but getting back to the campsite will not be easy except by boda-boda and taking a 20+ minute boda-boda on the muddy roads is not my deal way of spending an afternoon. I can catch a shuttle from the hostel but only at somewhat inconvenient times. So, if this blog entry is a little spacey, that’s why.
Oh, and did I really want to exercise?? I am SO sore today, let me tell you.
Well, stay tuned to see what happens next!