Wait…what happened to chapter seven? Well folks, chapter 7 will be all about the actual visit to the gorillas. I am making you wait for it because I had to wait for it for such a long time. At least you are not bouncing around in a lumber truck. Do this math…16×24=384. 384 hours, most of them in less t han comfortable conditions for ONE hour with the gorillas. Yes, a once in a lifetime trip. Been there, done that and I have the t-shirt. You only have to read one more post to get the photos.
After the gorillas, we are on the road again. If this is traveling, I am glad I am a tourist.
This was my view for a minimum of five hours a day, up to eleven. Imagine being on a long flight. Now imagine no toilet aboard the plane. Now imagine the seat being made by a masochist. Now imagine that for 80% of the flight you were in extreme turbulence. That is what truck touring in Africa is like.
Here we are passing another group of lucky truckers. These so called “Safari Trucks” are running all over east Africa.
I paid Uganda
another fifty dollars to pass through their country today.
Another no man’s land between immigration offices at a border. They are the same everywhere. Money changers are a common theme. Long lines of cargo trucks waiting for inspection is another.
The most interesting thing I saw all morning was a refugee camp of Congoese. The best I can figure is that the ranchers are fighting the sodbusters for control of the land.
A refugee camp by definition cannot be a pleasant place. But from this distance it seems as if the UN is doing its job.
We stayed a night at Lake Mburo. Nice campground, no up grades were available so I slept on the ground again. The campsite is crawling with Warthogs
. The lake is pretty.
Nothing cuter than a warthog with your morning coffee.
This is Pesh our guide and mother for trip. She did an excellent job, as did all the Intrepid crew.
This is John. Not only did he drive for hours over very rough roads, he replaced a drive shaft bushing in the middle of nowhere. He had a great sense of humor and I enjoyed his company.
The rest of the of the folks went off on a hike through the bush to see what we have already seen, I stayed in camp to help break down the tents and write.
The bird sounds are incredible in the quiet of an abandoned camp. The Warthogs were all over the place grazing and making their grunting sounds as if to say “time to leave”.
This was a beautiful blue morning and I am quite glad I had it to myself.
I saw the southern cross over Lake Mburo. It was as beautiful as ever, now my trip is truly complete. We were to spend the next two days at the source of the Nile
Safari comes from the Arab word Safar which means a long journey. I wonder if there is a word that means too long.
Having a Nile beer at the source of the River Nile.
It is almost bed time. I spent most of the day staring at the Nile and nursing one beer. In short, I am bored to tears.
I skipped all three Intrepid meals today, because they would only have bored me more. The food on this trip has been really good and we were never hungry. But it was just the idea of sitting in uncomfortable camp chairs to eat and then going through the process of washing the dishes afterwards that bored me. Again, let me say that Intrepid made sure that everything was washed and sanitized after every meal, and not one person got sick the whole trip. I opted for bar food this day and had maybe the best Hawaiian Pizza I have ever had, here in Uganda on the source of the Nile!
I joined the dinner group for the obligatory briefing about the next day’s events. I could have given the briefing, here is what it sounds like:
Get up at the crack of dawn, break down your tent, lug the heavy thing back to the truck, have a breakfast of cold omelets and crappy coffee. Then wash dishes. Then crawl onto the fucking truck and get your ass bounced around for a few hours until we get to yet another border, where yet another officious asshole will put another stamp in your passport acting as if he is doing you a favor by letting you out of his country. Then walk across no mans land to the next border crossing, stand in line again so another officious asshole can grant you entry into his country. Then get back on the bus and have your ass pounded for a few more hours until we get somewhere in the middle of nowhere and have another lunch, and clean dishes again, then get back on the bus to have your ass bounced for a few more hours just to get somewhere we were two weeks ago so we can set up tents again, have dinner and wash dishes.
Real life adventures, yeah right.
This type of travel appeals to three types of people. First is people who do not know any better. Second, people who consider discomfort adventure and thirdly people who do not give a shit.
There is no adventure in travel like this. Everything is planned out ahead of time and there is no chance of altering the agenda on a whim. I have done much more adventurous travel in my life, and far less expensively.
All that said, Intrepid does an excellent job of delivering what they say they will deliver. This was their BASIX
level of travel. Plus we WERE in Africa. One person on our trip had traveled in Egypt at a superior level with Intrepid only a month after the revolution ended. She told me that Intrepid went well beyond the published agenda to secure the travelers safety and comfort. I believe they would.
Thank you Intrepid for a novel trip. Thank you also to Oliver Gradwell and Travel Bloggers Unite for sponsoring the contest.
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