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Not Hotel But Definitely Rwanda

07/29/06

  11:18:44 am, by Nimble   , 524 words  
Categories: Journal

Not Hotel But Definitely Rwanda

More of the story so far, but in brief :)

Nairobi was a little disturbingly unmodern in the spot where we holed up on the day before the trip. I am pleased that that turns out not to be the case everywhere :) (I like Nakuru, for example)

The Silver Springs Hotel is quite a nice spot, but in the midst of a bit of squalor. It's a little hard to walk too far down the street. There are a LOT of vendors, and they're persistent.

We met up with Shayne, the tour leader, at the Indaba campsite. The truck was new to him, he didn't have a co-pilot, so the first few days were a bit rough.

I and Dena got food poisoning from the Emirates flight from Dubai to Nairobi. Oh god, that lasted for days and was nasty; haven't had nastiness like that since Hong Kong McDonald's ice cream.

We went to Lake Nakuru National Park. Great lot of game there - I mean, we saw nearly everything except lions and elephants. Lake was filled with flamingoes (don't get too close; it reeks!) We camped out, quite tired (it got dark by the time we got there), and were unceremoniously awoken a little too late to the sight of everyone else already having packed their tents.

Later, things went a little smoother...

We picked up groceries in Nakuru, which had great modern supermarkets and nice butcher and bakery shops and the like (a pleasant surprise after the area in Nairobi we were in).

We camped near Eldoret and got ourselves an upgrade to a room in a 'cabin'. We showered; oh god, that was luxurious!

After Eldoret we made our way to Jinja, Uganda and the campsite there. The insects were noisy as all get-out (magnified inside the tent), but they had a neat shower open to a wooded cliffside; great view for a shower.

From Jinja we went to Red Chillies in Kampala, where we got ourselves some dorm room upgrades. We went to Garden Center, which is just like a piece right out of North America; a very very modern mall. Picked up a book on Luganda. They do not speak Swahili here, regardless of what Wikipedia or anything else official says!

From Kampala we crossed the equator (there's a big tourist attraction there) and went on to an odd garden compound in the middle of Kabale (sp?). Insects bit like crazy there, but it was interesting.

We were informed that we were going to see the gorillas in Rwanda (Rwanda!). Was worried, but got here, and the country is beautiful. Saw the genocide memorial at Kigali; made me angry at least as much as upset (did you know it wasn't even about race? It was about a classification originally derived from numbers of cows owned, jeezus)

Hard hike out to the gorillas. So proud of Dena for making it up there, because it was STEEP, and I specifically asked whether there would be steep inclines (should have asked the Gorilla tour guide instead). Was great fun, and took some video clips as well.

Hope you are all doing well. Miss yas :)

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