(Lindsay): Lake Bunyoni – Byoona Amagara – The most beautiful place I have ever been in the world. To wake up and lift your head up to see this spectacular view – what a gift! We woke up and sat on our private porch and I journaled while Ryan took photos of the view and our very sweet deluxe geodome. It was a chilly morning, windy. So far this is the coldest place on our trip, although still warm compared to home… We finally worked up the courage to shower – the water, heated by solar power, was surprisingly hot, needed to turn on the cold water, but the wind made is so cold as the shower is of course open to the elements giving you a great view out onto the lake. We were quick in the shower.
(Ryan): It is quite amazing how hot the solar water was. We should get one of these for back home, if only we had sun… After our quick shower we sat and enjoyed our deluxe geo-Dome for as long as we could. I went and got some of the free Ugandan tea that they serve all day until 5. I walked back and forth between the canteen getting tea and enjoying it on the porch/deck all morning. This place is the perfect little “hotel” to say in. We shall come back here to write a book someday and book book the deluxe-dome for a week or more as it is only 80,000 UGX or $32 a night.
Around 11:30 we moved into another geo-dome (one of the basic ones) however we discovered that we ended up kicking out the Dutch couple – Anna-Bet and Quinton – because our receptionist lady had booked us into it the day before automatically when we said we wanted to stay for three nights in the deluxe but couldn’t. Good service and thinking by Peace, the receptionist, but we felt bad for our new Dutch friends. Turns out they ended up in a private cabin that they liked even better so it all worked out. We hauled our stuff over to the new dome called Izoomba then went for lunch. Food here is mostly vegetarian (why people why) but they at least give you good proportions to make up for the fact it’s veggie. After a couple of open faced sandwhichs of tuna and loads of tomatoes and garlic we went to have a much needed afternoon nap as I’m still sick. At the same time a storm came and set in and we got to listen to rolling thunder for a couple of hours, some splitting direclty above our dome, then sleep to the rain.
There is also a library here you can take books out of so we stopped there after lunch first and picked up a couple of books to read as that is what Lindsay wanted to do for a few days, relax, nap, and read, so that is what we did after the nap, read. I finished reading a kids version of the three musketeers on the first day and once the rain stopped decide to go for a tour of camp. It was nice, there are chairs/giant benches everywhere to sit on, read, watch birds, enjoy the view. In general this place is peaceful and there are a ton of birds, very colourful, and very loud – with a certain type of bird sounding exactly like the birds from “Angry Birds”. I half expected to see stacks of pigs around every corner waiting to be knocked down. I walked the camp, took pics, and then met a guy collecting traps along the waters edge. He was catching crayfish and mudfish in 1.5 foot hand weaved traps. Essentially the kind where something crawls in and can’t get back out again. He showed me how it worked by emptying one of the traps into the boat and out popped some crayfish and a but ugly mudfish. Apparently the mudfish is tasty, but I’m not so sure about that. Then I walked up along the path, past the upper part of camp, past our geodome which is on the boundary line and towads the rest of the island where there is a bunch of villagers living. I only got a little ways in when I met Ivan the goat herder. He was about 18, (maybe, I have yet to get a locals age right) and we chatted a bit and I watched him bound through the bush, shoeless, rounding his hoats up and making sure they stayed in the area he wanted them in. While we were talking another man came up, Jared, and he wanted to tour me around the island, for a price of course although he didn’t say that. I told him my wife was sleeping and the two of us would come back tomorrow to look around.
I made my way back into camp and to my reading/sleeping wife and after some more of that reading stuff we made our way to the canteen/main building for dinner. We sat with our Dutch friends and gave them details about going to Tanzania and what to see and what parks were more awesome than the other awesome parks. Then Quinton and I got chatting about cameras until their food arrived. During dinner we talked about travels and learned that they are on a trip with no end date, exploring all of Eastern and Southern Africa then hoping to jump over to India before going back. Apparently they spent the last 4 years or so saving to do this and then quit jobs and are off on an adventure. I’m envious as that is exactly what I want to do. After dinner they made their way to the library, which also can show movies, where they were going to watch Out of Africa. Lindsay and I saw it before we left and have been quoting it the entire trip … “I had a farm in Ah-Frica”, but it is a slow movie, apparently they gave up halfway through finding it too boring. Lindsay and I eventually got our dinner, fresh Tilapia from the lake which we had to wait for as it was coming in off the lake on a boat, that is fresh! My random dish of fish goulash was amazing, Lindsay’s fish and chips only ok, the oil hasn’t been changed in a long time. After eating we crashed in the new dome ready for another sleep in day, which means our bodies wake us up at abou 6 am, 7 if we’re lucky.