Are We There Yet?

I’m definitely eagerly anticipating our arrival at Lake Bunyonyi. If all goes according to plan, we should get across to the island around dinner tomorrow – assuming our bus trip from Kampala to Kabale, the boda ride we’ll take to get to the Byoona Amagara departure point, and the canoe crossing all go smoothly. I’ll be crossing my fingers… I arrived in Kampala last night, and promptly trekked over to the bus station to reserve our tickets for a Friday morning bus. I slept in one of the dorms at our usual hostel, Tuhende. The room that I was in had beds for eight people, but I was the only one staying there. Although it made for a very quiet evening, and meant I had my own bathroom and shower for the day, I wouldn’t have minded running into a few fellow travellers.

This morning was a lot of running around Kampala, sorting out various things for our trip. Unfortunately, since this is Uganda and doing things in a timely manner is much more difficult, I ended up not having any luck at the Rwandan Embassy office, and had to go to five or six different ATM machines before I found one that would give Ugandan shillings. Eventually, I made my way to a Forex bureau and had them convert some of my money to US dollars, which we’ll need for our visas and to get Rwandan money when we arrive there next week. My errands were made all the more unpleasant by the fact that it started raining halfway through, so I ended up soaked. The one bright spot was that while walking near the taxi park, I found a set of stairs that gave a great view of all the matatus and shops below. I’ve been trying to get a photo of the taxi park for ages, but hadn’t had any luck before now because it’s not advisable to be snapping pictures anywhere around where you might have a good view. This spot, however, was removed enough from everything that I didn’t run into any problems getting the shot. This picture is of the Old Taxi Park, which we don’t come to as often – most of the places we take matatus to leave from the New Taxi Park a few blocks away, but I’m sure from above it looks quite similar to this, and is equally as crazy.

Looking down at the Old Taxi Park. The umbrellas around the sides and top of the photo are stalls selling various merchandise. There's also always lots of vendors walking around the various matatus, offering for purchase all manner of things to passengers waiting to depart.
One of the cats at Okla Club enjoys the chicken bones from my meal.

After my photo find, things started looking up. I managed to track down some deworming medicine I’ve been looking for (Kristen and I plan to toast with it – I’m sure there’ll be photos), and then had a nice walk back to the area of town where I’m staying. I’m writing this while taking advantage of the wireless internet at the Ethiopian restaurant we like to go to, just a few blocks from Tuhende. They have a couple of cats here who typically just mill around the tables, but today they took a particular liking to my chicken dish, and spent most of the meal putting their paws on my chair and meowing. When I moved my plate to the other side of the table upon finishing, they jumped up and proceeded to cart away the chicken bones I’d left. Merry Christmas indeed! When I’m done here, I’ll meet up with Kristen (who is coming back from Jinja tonight) for dinner. We’ll get ourselves all sorted out this evening, and then will be boarding the bus south tomorrow morning. We are beyond excited for the next week, and can’t wait for the relaxing/swimming/hiking/exploring that awaits us.

Hope you all have a great Christmas and New Years as well. I’ll be sure to post updates of our travels as often as I’m able.