Looking at the mountains

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February 16th 2009
Published: February 21st 2009
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Ruboni Community Camp nestles in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda. The patio outside my banda gave beautiful views towards the mountain range. Ruboni is the starting point for trekking in the Rwenzoris - an activity I never had any intention of doing.

All profits from the camp go to help support the community. It was, therefore, bad for the community, but good for me, that for the 3 nights I stayed there, I was the only guest. It was a peaceful haven, with stunning views, friendly staff, perhaps the best vegetarian food I have had in Uganda and a variety of guided walks.

Whatever possessed me to do a walk labelled as a 'strenuous hill climb'? When I know that I do not enjoy hills! They didn't lie ... half way up I was regretting my decision, but was helped by Enock (my guide) sensitively waiting to check I was OK, but never giving the impression that I was being too slow. Enock was disappointed that I could not see the snow-capped peaks of the highest mountains; I was just pleased to be at the top and still breathing. A horned chameleon made the climb worth it. Getting my breath back, I decided to combine the Hill Climb with the forest walk.

The forest is a piece of land bought by Ruboni Community Camp, bordering the Rwenzori National Park. They are also planting native species in the area. Returning to Camp, I then had a traditional drumming lesson from Charles - great fun for me and amused the Camp staff.

Before leaving to go back to Kesese, I did the Village Walk, which involved visits to the blacksmith (who is also the traditional healer), a storyteller (where I learnt how the Bakonzo people arrived in the area from the Congo - moving on every 5 years or so when someone died) and a women's basket weaving cooperative.

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