Thursday, June 16, 2011

East Africa Day 34 (Thurs June 16): Uganda!

This is the first post that I'll actually publish as soon as I finish writing it. I arrived at the Nile River Explorers hostel a few hours ago - in Jinja, Uganda. Wireless is not only free but speedy!

I got up a little after 5am this morning, considered taking a shower but found the water to be icy cold, and then jumped into a cab headed for the Akamba bus station in the River Road area of Nairobi - only a few blocks from the hotel, called The Downtown. I was there by 6:30am for my 7am bus, but alas - the bus didn't actually arrive and depart until 9am. But hey - this is Kenya time - at least I didn't miss the bus! I just sat down in the lobby and did some people watching:)

I'd been a little apprehensive about the bus, but it was actually a really nice trip! The bus was kind of Greyhound bus style, with seatbelts - luggage down below the bottom of the bus, etc. It was a BEAUTIFUL ride through the Kenyan countryside from Nairobi west to the Uganda border at a town called Busia. I'd read in my Rough Guide to Kenya that is it known as a border crossing town - indeed! Even at a late hour on a weeknight there were a lot of vehicles and people crossing. But I digress. The countryside went from reminding me of the Western USA plains to a more tropical scene with so much greenery, rolling hills, and most of the land under cultivation. I was trying to read "The What is the What" but I couldn't take my eyes off of the scenery:)

We stopped off at a few places to let riders off - towns I'd read about but had not seen - was cool to roll through them! When we got to the border, the bus let all passengers off, and we walked through the border, getting an exit stamp from Kenya and then an entrance stamp from Uganda. Back on the bus, and then I was dropped off in Jinja at a gas station. Found two young guys there with their motorcycles (bodas), offering transport. Jumped on one, and took a short ride through the beautiful night to the hostel.

Meeting up with Meghan Young, a Frost Valley friend, early in the AM to see what she's up to this summer, volunteering for Colorado-based org Light Gives Heat. She is staying a ten minute walk from my hostel. YAY! I am loving it here already:)

PS - didn't take any photos today. The bus window was a little dirty, and it seemed weird to be snapping photos:)

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