Well the group had finally got to the half-way point of their trip. The sense of achievement must have been running high as they embarked on the second leg of their adventure – the climbing of Mount Elgon in Uganda.
Matt must have had a tinge of apprehension as the group passed through the border into Uganda with all the palaver over his yellow fever certificate. Did they get through immigration? Read on to find out …
Day 16 – 31st July
Today started with the earliest morning of the trip so far. While the wake up was at 4.30, many were so tired that we slept in for half an hour and were late for breakfast. We gave Peter a generous tip, said our goodbyes and then headed out.
Our time at Oronkai has been a genuinely amazing experience and I will never forget it. I had a lot of time to dwell on this as we embarked on our 8 hour journey to the border. Along the way we stopped at a supermarket and stocked up on snacks. I bought a samosa, a meat pie, a pack of malteasers and a 2 litre bottle of orange fanta, all of which was consumed swiftly.
At length we reached the border and made for the immigration office. After much queuing and stamping, and a very poorly dubbed Bollywood film, we crossed the border into Uganda. That’s right, after all that the words yellow and fever weren’t even mentioned. We were introduced to our new Ugandan liaison and contact within the U.W.A. (Ugandan Wildlife Association), Stephen. We were also introduced to our transport from the border to Budadiri, the minibus from Hamdyn High School for Girls.
Uganda is greener and more lush than Kenya, and this was obvious even as we crossed the border.
There were lots of banana trees and thick vegetation.
About this time the sugar rush from 2 litres of fanta kicked in and I was quite hyper. This was how I felt when we first saw the mountain looming on the horizon. It climbed steadily and disappeared into the clouds.
After another couple of hours we arrived at Rose’s Last Chance and ate dinner.
There is a pool table and lots of bats.
We had difficulty screwing in our mosquito nets to the wall so Chris tried standing on Gav and I to reach the ceiling. When this plan failed I tried again on the wall and managed to screw them in. We discovered a large spider in the corner which confined Gav to standing on his bed for a while.
Tomorrow we prepare for the mountain.