Tent number 7, my home until tomorrow.
Last night I sat by the fire getting acquainted with my new travel companions. The Red Chilli Staff also informed us about Gloria, the resident hippo who just had baby. Actually what they really did was give us a stern warning. They warned us that late night trips to the toilet may result in a serious casualty if we didn't mind our way carefully.
So at 5.30am my bladder is full and merciless pleading to be relieved. But I dare not leave my tent. Can you imagine them talking at my funeral?
"On her way to the toliet, attacked by a hippo, they found her lying in her own pee.."
We shall wait bladder, we shall wait.
At 6.00am torch in hand, I dash to the communal bathrooms, pee for what seems like the longest time on record, shower,then return to the tent to get ready for the day's activities.
Yesterday, as we were settling in to our tents, the staff cautioned us about leaving food in our temporary accommodation because the resident warthogs had been known to destroy tents and everything in them in search of food. Warthogs have very keen sense of smell. So you just picture my face when I discover while getting my small backpack ready for the day, that I forgot an open packet of crisps in my bag over night. God is merciful people! Once again just imagine what they would say at my wake,
" Over a bag crisps..... both her and the room mate..... the tent ripped to shreds and Maria was drenched in her own pee, just drenched..."
Our breakfast, ordered the night before is packed and neatly labeled with names and we are allowed a cup of coffee or tea before the mad rush for the ferry. We need to be on the very first one to get to the game park early.
We make it! Our travel van is number eight in the line, so we line up and wait for the ferry to depart. As we are waiting we notice tons and tons of white stuff floating upstream, at first I thought it was pollution, and am deeply embarrassed for my country but as the ferry crosses the river I notice it's a bubbly foam. I am relived it's not plastic bags, but gosh what the heck is it?
|This was taken later in the day but you see the same bubbly stuff..|
I later learn that it is caused by the speed of the water, the air, and a certain type of algae living in the river.
We pick up our game park guide on the other side of the river, the sun is slowly making an appearance despite the grey sky so we head on to the park.
We saw quite a few animals, but I was taking pictures on my phone which as mentioned in the last post does not do the trip justice. Never the less here are a few to give you an idea..
|Gloria's extended family|
We learnt about how the palm trees in the picture below came to be in Uganda. These palm trees are responsible for palm oil, which if you have natural hair, is part of the hair gold family . Elephants , being the natural guardians of the earth that they are , brought the seeds of this marvelous palm tree all the way from South Sudan in their poop! Yes elephants introduced a new tree species to Uganda; they contributed to the environment through their poop. Your poop on the other hand is NOT that special... your 💩💩💩💩 left unattended and not disposed properly is every emergency response NGO's nightmare.... a potential cholera outbreak 😐😐😐
The last part of our safari was this building, which we were told by the game park guide was built by Idi Amin ( President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979) and when he lost power they just abandoned it. It is the most peculiar thing to see in the park. This worn away building with overgrown plants spelling out raw forgotten feelings about the past.
This was just fantastic!
The holes in the picture below are homes of a particular species of bird which gets thrown out mid way through the year by another species of bird. I am told this is a reoccurring cycle. I can't remember the names of the species because I was starting to doze, the steady lull of the boat and my delicious lunch was getting the best of me. 😴😴😴
Ernest Hemingway crashed his plane near the Murchison falls ( see picture below) a rescue plane was sent to collect him and guess what that plane crashed too...😧😧😧 Though I felt mortified at fate's cruelty towards the great literary legend that Mr Hemingway is, it made for a great storytelling session by our tour guide. In fact I was waiting for the guide to add that sometimes amongst the shadows of the trees his ghost is seen scribbling away in his little black note book, jotting notes inspired by his thoughts and observations, notes that will eventually become the first original draft of another best selling book. But that's not the case, the fall is not haunted by a famous writing genius. *sigh*
The hippos we saw on boat ride, I can only assume are Gloria's immediate family, and she must be joyfully bobbing amongst them. Hi Gloria, glad we never met on a late night toilet trip. 🙋🙋🙋
Can you see the mother crocodile protecting her eggs?
still fascinated my the white form...
We wake early once again hoping to spot the lions on our way out the park but alas the big cats and their cubs have shunned us. The only evidence of their existence are fresh paw prints crossing the road. I am happy none the less, it's been a good trip and I have seen another side of my country. As always I can't wait for the next opportunity to do so.