Sunday, July 11, 2010

10th July Fiona's Perspective

We saw Jess off at 5.30am this morning. 6kg over in her luggage allowance, but Jess negotiated away an excess charge of $60 per kg.

We set off at about 8am to Murchison Falls National Park with Jane, Paul, Sian, Amy and Gareth. The aim was to camp for 3 nights out in the middle of nowhere.

The first stop was for a mid morning snack. We found a stall along the road selling Chapatti's. This time we had a Rolex, omlette wrapped inside the Chapatti's (rolled eggs, hence the name). Delicious and only R2.50 or 600 Ugandan Shillings.

The next stop was a lodge that Jane wanted to view for future placement of clients. They are Tour operators and own a company called G&C Tours. Chobe lodge was situated on the Nile, with floor to ceiling glass frontage, giving you spectacular views from anywhere. Wetherlys style leather couches finished the chic look.

We then entered the park via a little used track, traveling for 90km, stopping occasionally to hold back branches and pull away fallen trees to allow for passing.

We had numerous sites of Buffalo, which seem to thrive in this environment as they are everywhere. Elephants, Giraffe, Topi, Cob, Water buck and Thomsons Gazelles were to be seen in great numbers too.

We met up with Jen and Gav at about 5.30 after a full day of driving. They met us at an Airstrip in the reserve, which was guarded by a drunk soldier who told me he was protecting us from the invading Somali's. I now feel much safer!!!

We carried on for another 40minutes until Paul turned off onto yet another little track which was not shown on the Garmin! This led us to a secluded spot next to Lake Albert. Our only company about 10 Hippo's. Thank goodness they chose to stay in the water and view us from a distance (50 m).
We set up camp before dark and enjoyed Jamesons and Waragi Gin whilst listening to the grunting and snorting of the Hippo's close by.

Paul set up a makeshift shower for us after dinner. It consisted of water from the lake, warmed in a metal bucket on coals on the fire. The bucket has a pipe put into it with a pump running off the car battery. The water pumps up through a pipe to a shower head affixed to the side of your car. So basically you are showering out in the open with nature as your shower curtain.

That night I went to sleep to the sounds of Hippo exiting the water in search of food.
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

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