Well, I said I wanted adventure, and adventure is what I got. Just as a taste, it included
1) one bicycle boda-boday with me and my full pack rushing across town to get to the correct matatu
2) one 1+ hour ride in a matatu built for 8 that was crammed with 19 (including the 5 kids of various ages)
3) one bus breakdown that included about 30 people sitting on the side of the road waiting for the bus company to figure out what it should do
4) one 7km hike that damn near killed me from exhaustion
5) no electricity at one of the places I stayed for 2 nights and nobody there seemed to have much concern
So, we’ll start where I left off. I wandered around Jinja, one of the larger cities yet still pretty much a one-horse town (one main street lasting aroung 6 blocks) but cleaner and with more tourist stores than I have been used to seeing. It may be cleaner because the downtown isn’t being torn up the way Kampala is in anticipation of the Commonwealth Jubilee (or whatever) that will occur in November of this year. Queen Elizabeth will be in Uganda for all of 3 days (or whatever) and the entire country is pretty much a construction site as a result. In Jinja just the roads are a mess as they make new ones and new roundabouts which, since they drive on the left-hand side of the road, they seem to actually know how to use, unlike us americans.
I go down to the “Source of the Nile” where Lake Victoria bleeds into the river that will make its way up through Egypt. what a rip-off. the spot is nice enough, but they charge you a huge fee for pretty much nothing. Don’t bother if you ask me.
Now, that morning I had given over my laundry and asked it be done first thing (on the advice of one of the people who worked there) in order to maximize sunny-dayness.
Around 2 or so it boded rain in Jinja so I thought I’d better head back. The only option was via boda-boda, which everyone who lives/works at the campsite seemed to think was no big deal.
Of course, then it begins to rain. So I’m on this muddy, crappy road, for TWELVE KILOMETERS, upon which I’m riding helmet-less on the back of a moped. I was not a happy camper, but when in Africa do as the Africans… At the time, I had thought “transportation doesn’t get much worse than this.” Oh, if I only knew what was to come… but I digress.
So, I get back to the campsite and it hadn’t started raining there yet and I think “yes, I’ll get my semi-dry clothes off the line.” I go to the clothes-line area to see the woman putting out my clothes right then and there. At 3pm. Apparently my request for an early washing didn’t go thru.
Fortunately, it didn’t actually rain at the campsite until around 9pm that night, so I got a few hours of outside drying in and then moved everything into my banda.
That was my second night there and I was going to stay a third, but had not been able to reach the place at Sipi Falls to change the reservation. I was a little afraid that if I didn’t show, they’d cancel both nights. Unfortunately in Uganda you can only call with your cell phone other phone numbers in the same plan. And the campsite had apparently turned off that phone so I had no way to reach them.
So, the next morning I check out of Bujagali Falls to go back to Jinja and then on to Sipi Falls farther north.
Tags: Africa, Travel, Uganda