Uganda, August 2005
August 13, 2005 GMT
Sauce For The Goose.

9/8/05. Murchison Falls National Park.


120 miles of reasonable tarmac and 100 miles of baboon-strewn dirt track from Kampala to Murchison. I've been in Uganda three days and it's very endearing. Kampala is a proper city. Jinja has death-defying white water rafting, which I intend to do on the way back to Kenya.

And God said, "Let There Be Pigs". And He looked at the pigs and saw that they were too damn pretty. "People Will Think I'm A Nancy" said God. "Let There Be Warthogs!"

One difference between the dusty endurance test that is West Africa and the lush, facility-laden semi-paradise that is the East, is that white people in the West talk to each other in bars. Over this side, a lot of the tourists are in coach parties and they fear the outsider, which is fine with me as they're all either 60 year old Teutonic vegetarians or braying West London twonks.

You don't know what "green" is until you've seen a tea plantation in morning sunshine. I hate to sound like a "you don't wanna do it like that" type, one of whom said to me in Kenya;
"I always maintain, the most fun you can have
pause for imagined comedic effect
with your clothes on ah ha ha ha,
is blah blah blah blah".
Do these people really imagine that their audience has never heard the "with your clothes on" line before? What level of self-absorbed leaden-mindedness does that imply?

Coming out of Kenya on Sunday, the guy that takes money for the spurious $20 "road tax" makes the classic mistake of handing me back my change and receipt before demanding 200 Kenya shillings "overtime". I'm in the clear document-wise, so a shouting match is on the cards.
"If you don't pay my overtime the office is closed!" he threatens, failing to grasp the fact that I don't give a fuck. Steam begins to emerge from his capacious ears. I intone the word "Bribe" very loudly indeed as I pull away towards Uganda and freedom...

Nile Special* is without a doubt the best beer in Africa. But don't make any elaborate plans for the next day...

At the Ugandan border, I'm told that the absolute minimum I must pay for 3rd party insurance is 70,000 Uganda shillings. After 30 minutes of stony-faced intransigence they accept 16,500.

10/8/05. Masindi.


Up at dawn and back down a fifty-mile dirt track to the town of Masindi. On the way I stop at Murchison Falls. Blimey! That's a lot of water.


Er, "clumps" of baboons hang about along the road. Photos don't do them justice as they scarper by the time I get my camera out.
In the PM I dawdle in the general area of the bar of the very nice Court View Hotel. The woman that runs the place - let's call her Sybil - is one of those intolerable grotesques who cringingly asks one if one's breakfast sausage is to one's liking, and then in the same breath turns to one of her staff and publicly humiliates them for inexact napkin arrangement. Whore.

Paint the whole world with a Rainbooooooooow!


*5.6% ABV

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 03:10 PM GMT
October 24, 2005 GMT
I'm Getting The Fear

11/8/05. Kampala, Uganda.


Back to the capital for a few days of R&R, bike maintenance, big-city necessity purchasing and mental preparation for the frankly terrifying white-water rafting at Jinja. It's supposedly the second most hairy bit of rafting in the world (after the Zambezi) and the number of times I've done it before, rounded up to the nearest whole digit, currently stands at nearly one.

16/8/05 Jinja, Uganda.

Rafting tomorrow. Gulp. The leaflet produced by Adrift, the rafting company, features quotes from such feeble nanocelebs as flaxen haired goof Prince William ("That was brilliant!" Um, thanks, your Highness); well-known human Geri Halliwell; the suspiciously long-serving President Museveni of Uganda; and Cro-Magnon-browed BBC squawkstress Kate Thornton ("I thought I was going to die!" And yet, annoyingly, you didn't).

The bar at the Adrift campsite is another contender for Best One In Africa.

View from the bar with bungy platform

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 02:54 PM GMT

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