Sunday, August 23, 2009

Down By the Banks

Down By the Banks

As I mentioned Friday, I was in Murchison Falls National Park at the beginning of last week; and as promised, here are my post on that trip. I don't know what happened to me this weekend. I just didn't feel like writing. I was more in a cooking mood, but that's a whole other topic, so I won't go into that.

I took my trip with the Red Chilli (leaving from their main location in Mbuya) and stayed at their camp in the park. The journey from Kampala to Masindi was much longer than I remembered it to be. Even with the newly amazing road, it seemed like the trip took forever. I was very happy to find the road from Kafu to Masindi paved. I remember the good-ole dusty days, and the days it would be so muddy that the taxis would have to divert to the Masindi Port Road. Lunch was at Travellers' Corner. Absolutely not my favourite place to eat in Masindi, but I ate there with my fellow travellers and took the opportunity to get to know the people with whom I'd be spending a lot of time with over the trip. Yes, I can be nice sometimes. Obviously, the bond that we formed was not too strong because I cannot recall their names right now.

This was my first trip to Murchison Park. Yes, I lived in Hoima District for three years--just near to the park, but I never had the chance to make a visit. Yes, I've been back in Uganda for over three years. No, I never took the time to make the journey until the 18th of August 2009. I planned to do it every holiday that I had, but I never made it a priority until now, so the visit never took place.

The first day of the trip, we visited to top of the falls. Murchison Falls is a marvelous design of nature. The force of the river through those rocks is amazing. 

I was in respectful awe when the falls came into view and my amazement continued throughout our hike. By the way, it was hot as hell. The gusts of air and mist form the surging water provided little relief as we came closer.

From the falls, we went to the Red Chilli camp and found our tents.

This was the interior of our tent when we arrived. Now, imagine it the next morning with about 2 inches of water on the floor. My goodness, there was an ridiculous storm that began at 2:30am and pounded the tent for well over 3 hours, saturating the canvas that eventually began to leak. Drip. Drip. Drip... On my bed and me for a good portion of the night. This did not put me in a fantastic mood for the game drive at 6:30 in the morning.

After we crossed the Nile by ferry, it did not take us long to find the animals. The first thing we saw were some Cape Buffaloes enjoying an immediate fruit of a the storm: mud.

This was my first experience seeing Giraffe's in Uganda. I've seen them in Kenya before, and I'm pretty sure we saw them when my family vacationed at Busch Gardens in Tampa way back when.

When the giraffes run, it's like they glide across the savannah. I think of the vampires in the Twilight books when I see them moving across the plains At the same time there is a bit of awkwardness to their gait. Is it possible to have a clumsy grace?

Because of a relatively sleepless night, I napped a bit on the game drive. Because of my napping, I missed a spotting of an ever elusive jackal. The price we pay... However, I was not the only one caught napping.

Notice in the the background the leftovers from her breakfast.

After lunch, I went on the boat trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls. The trip was quite lengthy, about 3-1/2 hours. Despite the the duration of this trip, I enjoyed it much more that the similar trip I did at Queen Elizabeth National Park that I took back in December. This boat launch was better executed.

Remember how I'm a new Gossip Girl fan? Well, at one point of the trip I was sure Blair Waldorf (aka Leighton Meester) was a passenger on our boat.

I have a tendency to be a bit delusional sometimes.  But I'm not delusional when it comes to seeing a coin slot aboard.  Evidence:

When the boat reached it's parking place at the rocks near the bottom of the falls, I was temped by my newly acquired English friends and could not resist the opportunity to have a Nile while floating on the Nile.


Yet another week has come and gone without a single visit to the gym...

I'm really beginning to feel like a hippo!!!

I report back to work tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to add more structure to my life, and part of that structure will include an improved fitness plan.


Dave2 said...

It's like a trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom! :-D

Dana said...

GORGEOUS! Except the coin slot...