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Published: March 26th 2016
Today was mostly a travel day as we went from Jinja to Kibali National Park, via Kampala. We had our mini breaks, lunch stop, more mini breaks and took lots of photos from inside the vehicle and just absorbed up the culture and day to day life of the Ugandan People. Long travel days can be, well long, but at the same time if you make the most of it you do learn a lot.
Our guides Sam and Paul (we had 2 vehicles so rotated) were always happy to answer our questions about salaries ($100-$350/month USD), vehicles (motorcycles for $10,000USD or a nice used 7 pax van for $20,000USD), food is very cheap and chicken, fish, potatoes, plantains are common and beef and rice are a treat. Gas is running $1USD/litre so fairly high relatively speaking, but few people drive, traffic on the road was never heavy except in major cities. Children go to school through to high school now, education is encouraged much more than it used to be and there are several universities available also at a reasonable price.
We stopped at a traditional restaurant for lunch, and they served us a Ugandan meal that contained
a lot of staples. Plantains mashed, fried boiled potatoes (yummy), yams, chicken, deep leafy vegetable of some variety (which I found incredibly bitter), a peanut sauce (that was a peanut we were not familiar with) and then dessert of fresh lemon cake. Very lovely meal, and we learned that beef and rice are considered treats as beef is very expensive/rare and rice is not grown here so the same. The plantains, potatoes, yams, bananas, are all grown everywhere, and they have 101 ways to serve them. We did a bit of shopping, which supports a local school, so it was a nice visit. We were all dying for anything cold; refrigeration is sparse as electricity is mostly generators, so freezers are almost non existent, as the risk of the generator crashing is far too high. So getting things even room temperature (vs outside temperatures of +35) was a treat for us, and anything fridge temperature was drunk very, very quickly!
I was feeling the effects of the heat and getting a tad miserable (I am such a winter white Canadian at times!) and was quite happy when we arrived at our next campsite. We were now about 4000 feet
ASL, so it was starting to cool off somewhat; the nights were actually quite tolerable and that helped with sleeping considerably.
The lodge was lovely, and while Cathy and I got the only small tent given out (we both whined a bit truth be told as the rest looked like castles in comparison), the scenery was lovely, the staff were amazing, and the farm was completely bio-diverse. They sustained themselves, even pumped and cleaned the water themselves from their own wells, grew vegetables, animals of course and had beautiful grounds of different flowers, plants birds etc. We did a tour our second day and it was really neat to learn about!
Just goes to show, a ‘travel day’ can have lots of interesting moments in it, like the zillions of goats (brown, black, white, spotted, polka dotted, babies etc) the incredible amounts of ‘stuff’ that was transported on bicycles and motorcycles and just the way of life in Uganda. I only wished I had more photos of the people but it is considered rude to take their photo without permission and I wasn't going to do drive by shots as much as I wanted to. Everyone walks everywhere,
and there is a constant flow of humans along the shoulders of the roads we were on. The country itself was vibrant in greens and red soil, and the dresses of the women, crayon box everywhere you looked! Life is good.
MORE PHOTOS BELOW
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