Walking like John Wayne at the source of the nile

I took the bus to Kampala where I met up with Lina for dinner.  Bless her she still isn’t great and is only just back on eating food again so only managed a soup.  I on the other hand being faced with a very good thai restaurant gorged myself silly on food I had been missing and felt quite sick!  Having had enough of public transport I got a private car to Jinja – the source of the nile river and the adrenalin capital of Africa – or so they like to say.

A few years ago I would have been one of the first in line for the bungee jumping (it was only 40m high – piddlely after my 160m one in Nepal) and the class 5 white water rafting, but after my experiences in Nepal where we saw the safety kayaker who had been with us for the last two days get wedged between a rock and drown it had kind of put me off the rafting a bit.  The rafting company said it wouldn’t happen here as river was much wider and not so much rocks – but I wasn’t convinced – what the hell causes rapids if it isn’t rocks????  So instead I went mountain biking for a few hours.  Was fun but the gears on the bike were awful and having not really ridden a bike since breaking my coccyx in August last year it was more than a little painful by the end.  So what did I do the next day – the sensible thing of course – I went off on a two day horse riding safari!!!!!  Owwwww!

My horse was a 16.2hh dark bay Kenyan thoroughbred called Mwimbi.  Nice enough horse and he didn’t take much riding – very easy to make go and not that hard to stop – although he did overreach a bit in trot causing him to throw a shoe – but one of the guides was a farrier so all was good.  Day 1 we were riding for just over 4 hours – we followed the course of the river for a bit before heading off through villages.  Nice ride – with lots of canters – however having not ridden in earnest for a while I had forgotten several key facts – horse riding is better at keeping you fit than most people realise and gloves are an essential part of horse riding gear!  By the time we got to our overnight stop not only was my bottom rather sore but I had blisters on my hands and sore knees.  I have never had sore knees horse-riding before!  Although TJ (the aussie owner) says that he always gets sore knees and blames it all on trotting and sometimes the type of saddle.

Overnight was in a lovely guesthouse called Haven which was right next to one of the rapids called the Dead Dutchman!  Having seen it I was quite pleased I hadn’t bothered with the rafting!  And to my surprise I bumped into the Dutch couple there who I met in Kisoro.  It was good to see them again but they were off home back to Holland the next day so weren’t around for long.

Day 2 of the riding TJ had told my guides no trotting so it was a much faster ride.  I had managed to get some gloves which made the world of difference and kicking my feet out of the stirrups when we were walking helped the knees so altogether a much less painful day – which was just as well as it was a longer ride.  We set off thorough a few villages and then went through a forest – it was so peaceful and then through sugar cane plantations.  It was a lovely ride – so much more interesting than day 1 – we also when to a couple of viewpoints over the nile and lake Victoria.  Finally after 5 hours of riding we arrived back at the stables.  It was only when we got off just how sore my bottom actually was!  Back at my guesthouse (2Friends) I went straight into the swimming pool hoping that would help my legs a bit.  Got chatting to several of the people there and gave one Canadian couple some advice on places to visit in London next week.  However although the pool helped it still didn’t stop my bottom swelling up!!!!!  Its big enough as it is – I don’t need it swelling up to get bigger!

I am now walking a bit like John Wayne and sitting down very gingerly.  Good job tomorrow is a transit day spent in a car going to the Sipi Falls to the east near Mount Elgon and the Kenyan border.

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About becksupeverest

Took a leave of absence from work and decided to work as a volunteer in Tanzania based in Korogwe, a small town in the northeast of the country (combined with some travels around East Africa). The project is to look at the cost base, strategy and business plan of a tree nursery NGO - one of the Gatsby Foundation projects.
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