Day 6 – 18th June 2007
Finally arrived at Murchison Falls at last! But it was certainly a loooooooooooong day!
Upon waking up in the tent, I was immediately beset upon my tentmates for snoring too loudly in the night whoops! But I was surprised as there was a wild dog that kept me up all night roaming outside the tents and I’m pretty sure it growled. It even brushed against my leg through the tent wall. We all had beef sausages butties for brekkie, packed away the tents and out back on the bus singing ‘na na na na na na na softpower!’
We entered into the National Park as soon the borders were up and off we went trundling through the rocky terrains and arrived at Red Chilli Bar near Paraa around 1pm. Warthogs looked bleakly back at us before singing ‘why! When I was a young warthog!’…that didn’t happen…sorry to disappoint you! We stopped off at the Red Chilli Bar (will go into more detail about it later) and I immediately savoured the taste of Sprite on my lips as it was unbelievably hot! Then we donned our rucksacks to walk the 10 min trail to the ferry port to cross the River Nile. Then DISASTER STRUCK!
Jami stumbled under her rucksack after stepping on some loose rubble and fell down and really slicing her knee wide open. Blood gushed everywhere and you could see people’s faces paling and this looked rather serious and needed further medical attention. Luckily, Helen and Kat are Doctors in training and administered first aid as you could see Jami was in deep shock. They bandagesd the knee up temporarily to be looked at later. To be continued…
We got to the port and basically surprised to see that the ‘ferry’ was in fact a sophisticated motorised raft in a sense. It could support cars and people and crossed all of them across the Victoria Nile. It was a very slow transit and under the blistering heat of the sun, you could smell flesh being cooked. Out whipped the suncream!
We reached the North Bank and immediately had a welcoming party in the form of very interested baboons. They came very close to us and I pressed my hand down on my money bag, if they are stealing money from a Yorkshire Man then they got another thing coming…but we managed to scatter thenm by throwing some rocks near them. But then another welcoming party arrived…this time hippos! But they kept their distance but like the tourists we aren’t trying to be like, out came the cameras and everyone got trigger happy!
After another short bus ride, we arrived at the Murchison Education Centre, which is still pretty basic as it has recently opened but we are all here to change that. We finally found our lodgings and immediately set about cutting down the previously used mosquito nets over the bed. I was amazed to see a preying mantis in one of the nets. Lucy, bundled it up and released it outside for a snake’s happy dinner! A few mins later, we found a wasps’ nest in the corner of the room so we immediately evacuated and went into another room. We are certainly having a fantastic wildlife experience! Earlier on today, Phil (one of the organisers) gave a speech on dangerous wildlife including black mambas, tsete flies that can cause sleeping sickness. He also told us the do’s and don’ts. He warned that girls should be with us boys all the time as there were soldiers on site who may have not seen a girl in ages and they have guns.
Jami’s ordeal continues. The knee required 32 stitches and she had to endur the stitching with no anaesthetic ouch! And that was by the local nurse…I thought jami was really really brave to undertake that and I couldn’t do anything except pat her hand as it happened. What a star!
Later on, we had a tour of the Education Centre and had a lesson in the history of Murchison Falls (coming soon). It was very informative and really highlighted the damage caused by the conflict in the north west of Uganda.
More Tragedy struck…can’t we look after ourselves? Martin ran across the path in bare feet and serrated grass thorns embedded themselves in his feet. It must have been painfull to pull each one out but I’m sure it was nothing how Jami is feeling!
And I undertook one of my many firsts…the long drop toilet! The hole is big enough to put an adult leg through…I’m guessing…I didn’t exactly try it out! But I was concerned that the hole is small and there was a big possibility that I could miss the hole! I would have to knock it over into the hole…but luckily this time it went straight through!
Dinner was served nicely cooked by Issac and pretty soon darkness arrived and all of us sat around the 2 lanterns quietly under the watchful eyes of 2 soldiers wondering what was to come…
See More: Uganda Project Series
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