Today was our first full day in Kampala. We started off getting up fairly late for us at our hostel Red Chilli Hideaway, at about 8:30. After some horrible trickle of cold water showers for me Ryan at least we made it into the reception area and put a deposit down on our Murchison Falls trip which we’re planning to go on, on Sunday for 3 days. Falls hike, game drive, boat game drive, and rhino tracking on foot on the way back to Kampala, going to be sweet. We gave the guys most of the rest of our USD cash and then walked out of the compound to head downtown.
Red Chilli is off in a district of Kampala so it is about a 20-25 minute drive by Matatu into the heart of downtown. We were able to flag down a matatu, cramped litle minivan type vehicle, piled ourselves in, chatted with some Israelis that were making there way to lake Bunyoni from where we had just come, and drove into town for the crazy price of 2000 shillings (90 cents total). We made it into town and got dropped off near the taxi park which is awesome crazy! There is probably a 1000 plus little matatus trying to get around there and I have no idea what the system is of getting into the middle and out and picking up passengers but it seems to work. We walked around the block looking for food but didn’t find any little old ladies selling Rolex which we wanted to eat. Apparantely tasty, eggs, chapati, and other things, but haven’t got the chance to try it.
Went down a side street and found some fabric merchants that we might head back to later as they had a decent price for fabric and Lindsay would like some to make stuff with back home. Then we made it back to the taxi park and got a better view passing on its other side. Crazy. I will post pictures and video later so you can see how crazy it is. Speaking of crazy, crossing the street here is like taking your life into your own hands. There is so so so so so much traffic and Boda Bodas (motorcycles) don’t really follow the roads and will use the sidewalks in heavy traffic so you never know where some vehicle might pop out from. And around a corner, don’t even bother, walk around so you can see. Most of the time you cross half the street and just stand in the middle hoping not to get hit until you can cross the whole way. It is madness, and I’m loving every minute of it. Lindsay is getting a bit overwhelmed at the shear amount of… everything, but I find it interesting and invigorating.
We decided to try and find this hotel I was going to have us stay at and go there for lunch so we started walking west of downtown to find the Tuhende Safari Lodge. We got about halfway and were going to give up, but then figured out where we were on the crappy lonely planet book map and kept going. We eventually got close and asked for directions at a grocery store only to find out it was next door behind the tree blocking our view. Boy were we glad we went there. Not just because it was the first real food we had in 36 hours, but was also the best food we’ve had in all of Africa, and dare I say top 5 meals ever. We had roasted meat off the bbq with smoked wood of some kind, me beef, Lindsay Goat. It came with vegetables, potatoes, smoke and bbq pineapple, salad, and of course washed it down with beer. MMMMMMM. So good we’re thinking of going back. Especially since it was essentially a steak dinner for 16,900 UGX, about 8 dollars.
After our amazing lunch we made our way back towards down town and got ourselves lost finding the market. Then we found the market and got lost in the market, but that was on purpose. The market was crazy cool, tons of everything to buy and tons of absolutely nothing you wanted to buy as a tourist. I’m looking for a quality thumb piano but instead found shoes, tin cans of all sorts, spices, beans, baskets, fruit, so much fruit, clothes…ever wondered where your donations for Africa go, they end up as clothes for sell in theses markets…and oh my God so much peanutbutter. Except here they’re called ground nuts. I watched them crushing the peanuts to make the powder that they’ll later add a lot of oil to in order to make it PB you know. It was quite amazing how the PB cam overpower every other smell in all of the market especially since fruit slowly rotting in the sun is the worst smell ever, give me a bunch of meat stands anyday, no more limes/lemons.
We saw much more of the market which i will get to later as I”m about to run out of time at this Internet cafe and we should head towards our game dinner and another bank….Check back for part 2 of this day soon.