Kericho to Jinja: Enter Uganda...
Sep 10, 2011
|Drive to Jinja Photos
My birthday gift to Katelyn this morning was to forget that I had changed the time on my alarm clock and to have the alarm go off an hour before it needed to. I tried to look on the bright side and explain that since I noticed the mistake within 5 mins of the alarm going off and not when we walked over to the truck to find no one around, that I was giving her the gift of an extra hour sleep. She didn’t see it that way!
We had been warned that today would be a long day. We had a long drive ahead of us and we were crossing into Uganda which had the possibility of taking time depending on how smoothly our entry visas were processed.
We were leaving the Kenyan highlands and heading to the Ugandan Riverina and would be crossing into the Northern hemisphere (although we wouldn’t be stopping today, we would cross again a few days from now where we would be able to take the requisite photos with one foot in each hemisphere…for me this would be the second time).
As had become the norm, we would have a stop early in the day in Kisumu at a grocery store to stock up on whatever we needed / wanted for the next few days. Last night during our chat with Kevin he had let us know that this was where he was from and where his Mother still lived. Of course we entertained ourselves for most of the morning every time his phone rang by yelling out…Hi Mom! For those of you that haven’t been on a tour, teasing and giving your guide a hard time is often the most entertainment you get on the long days, and it was nice to be laughing with our guide this time around rather than groaning and rolling our eyes like we were with the last one. Unfortunately, it didn’t take Kevin and the rest of the crew long to turn the tides and tease us.
Shopping stops always lead to show and tell when we get back on the truck and regret that we didn’t find or buy what someone else did. That day I was having pastry envy since I didn’t make it to the bakery section thinking that I could go back after I paid for all the other groceries and have a seat at their café and grab a coffee. Unfortunately, once I paid and had no choice but to exit I was not allowed back in, even if I had the receipt for my purchases. That was a “should have known better” mistake by me.
The border crossing went smoothly; Kevin had the cards for us to fill out on the truck so we were prepared and could go directly to the window. As per usual, you have to exit the country you are in and then enter the next one. Kevin had arranged that we could have one representative take all the passports and cards and the rest of us were able to wait in the truck for all the visas to be processed. Thankfully I was not the chosen representative so I just sat back on the truck and ate snacks and watched the chaos of the border from up high.
After about an hour or so we were off and all safely and legally in Uganda. We were headed to Jinja and our campsite at Bujagali Falls on the Nile River. We were excited because it was going to be a two night stay and we had some optional activities that we could participate in and get a break from sitting all day and stretch our legs.
The camp site was gorgeous, the pub over looked the water and was a obviously a local hot spot with how crowded it was that evening until late.
We had an extra surprise at dinner from some of the girls. Katelyn was on the trip with a friend – Brooke and at the shopping stop her and another couple girls arranged to buy enough goodies to make a “birthday punch” for everyone and of course there was a cake as well. This encouraged everyone to celebrate and so most of the group headed to the bar that evening and had a bonding night as some of the people took shots from the upside down hanging kayak. We also amused ourselves watching a couple American girls hit on the Rafting guides, this provided hours of entertainment and continued into the morning when there was a very public walk of shame…ah to be 25 again!
I was feeling nervous about my plans for the next morning and so sipped quietly on my beer and snuck off to bed when the music was still blaring. I wasn’t the first to bed that evening though, I was beat out by several hours by the boys who had arranged for the staff to come in early the next morning and start the generator so that they could get up at 4:00am and watch a rugby match. Thankfully for those of us with tents nearby, the sound didn’t kick in until 5:00am, although when it did kick in, it was at full blast and none of us were sleeping through that. Not sure what the excitement was about, not like it was hockey!