Days 323, Thursday 22 November 2012 – Eden Rock Camp, Jinja, Uganda
It was whisky induced but I finally managed a good nights sleep, not waking until 5:00 AM, though were minor hints of a hangover but nothing as bad as the sleep deprivation head aches I had been having in the mornings. I was up at 5:30 for the 6:00 breakfast and we were on the road again for 7:00. The day is cool and clear, a perfect day for driving and crossing the border from Kenya into Uganda. We spent a long time driving on the drough temporary roads, looking at the new highway to the border, which seems to just be used to move the occasional cow!
Or the ever popular wood.
The border crossing was surprisingly painless, we were warned that it can sometimes be dreadfully slow to get across. I am not sure what the donkey was doing, apart from almost becoming a hood ornament of our truck.
The worst part was the traffic congestion in no-mans land.
I managed to have a good Bookface message conversation with Dom, my oldest son while we waited between formalities. I was a bit miffed when Ugandan immigration placed the stamp in the middle of my Asian stamps, instead of at the back with all my other African stamps. I have now visited over fifty countries in all my travels – awesome 🙂
Uganda is an amazingly lush country, it is all at least 900 metres above sea level so there is plenty of moisture in the air and a lot of crop holdings were seen from the road.
And of course the kids waved at the truck as we drove past 🙂
In Tanzania and Kenya, and now Uganda, there are far less opportunities to stop for lunch, the roadsides have more villages and towns than in southern Africa. It even takes a while to find a place for a loo stop, you cannot really go weeing in some ones front yard – though the local people seem to have little issue with it at times. We finally stopped for lunch at 2:30 at a small roadside clearing, though just behind the bushes surrounding the corn fields were some small houses and soon enough we had ten children out to see us, with their parents watching from afar. The children were lovely and friendly and like all children loved to have their photos taken – and laughed hysterically when shown the pictures.
It was very hard to eat in front of the obviously poor and hungry people without wanting to give them food to eat. But we don’t, once finished eating we clear everything, load it back on the truck and drive off. Sadly giving out food – and other goodies, has led to begging cultures in other places and this has long term negative consequences on the population. It was fairly obvious were it had – as soon as a muzungu arrives there is an expectation of a hand out, and some get miffed when it doesn’t happen.
From lunch we took a quick break in the large local town of Jinja before heading up an incredibly dusty side road to the Eden Rock camp site. Everything on the side of the road is covered in red dust, it was quite surreal.
It is the first time the guys have stayed at Eden Rock, normally using the NRE or Adrift campsite – both notorious party sites, given we were an older crowd and there were rooms available at Eden we stayed there and I took a room – we are here for three nights.
NRE was sort of over the road so we went there for after dinner drinks, but I wasn’t feeling it so went back to Eden and went to bed, tough the music from NRE and one of the local bars went on to 6 am…