(Written 24 hours ago) Today we’re leaving Kampala to make the 90+ minute drive to Jinja, a village right off the shores of Lake Victoria and where the source of the Nile is supposed to be located.
I, fortunately enough, slept through the majority of the ride there, so I didn’t mind the drive.
In a way, however, I did miss one thing that Kampala had that was becoming less and less noticeable as we got further away from the city: the smell.
I wanted to talk about this sooner (because it lended to be such a huge first impression when we arrived here days ago.) Immediately since we landed, the main thing that all of us noticed was the smell of Africa. Truthfully, I didn’t like it all that much at first, but since we have left the city for more rural towns, it’s something that I miss. It has really grown on me…
What is that smell, you ask? I was trying to figure out that question since we arrived, but considering that I have been immersed in a chamber pot of the odor, I think I have figured it out. Think of the best bonfire you have ever been to. A bonfire that has tons of wood and flames that are as high in the sky. The air has a rich smoky smell so strong that you can almost taste it in your mouth. In general, that is the smell that I have been falling asleep and waking up to for the past few days. From what Herbert has told us, it makes sense, though. Most of the people here use wood and charcoal as their main sources of fuel.
Anyways, once we arrived to Jinja, I immediately knew that this village was fashioned for people that wanted to experience some of the luxuries of Uganda. Firstly, I knew this because that smell that bathed me day in and day out in Kampala was undetectable to my sniffer. At first, I was a little disappointed, but after walking into the resort and seeing an extravagant looking pool, I figured that it wouldn’t be bad to get a break from the city for a while.
We all walked through the ground to see a thick forest of green covering the grounds (one misconception of East Africa is that it looks as dry and barren as North Africa, which is the total opposite from the truth. After eating a delicious meal of fried fish, curried vegetables with rice, and chicken, we all grabbed a photo of all of us in front of the lake and climbed into a wooden boat to take us out to source of the Nile. It was one of those boats that if you place one foot too left or too right from the center while standing, you could quite possibly be swimming with the fishes (or snakes. Allegedly there were a lot in the water where we were).
But I guess that didn’t bother the natives that were performing a mass baptism in the lake. I got a few shots of it so when we have better internet connection I’ll post them for you.
The boat ride to the source of the Nile was an experience. The best way to put it is by giving you yet an another example from Harry Potter. In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry accompanies Dumbledore to destroy one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, and in doing that, they take this boat out from the edge of an enchanted lake to the island in the center.
In a Bertie Bott’s bag, that’s basically what we did. The source of the Nile is about 5-10 minutes from the shore where we were, and it was accompanied with a quaint little island filled with a gift shop (how authentic, right?) Our captain, Joseph, told us the history of how the point in the Nile where we were standing used to be a great waterfall. But after the natives built a dam there, it disappeared.
The gift shop had the same things as many of the other craft shops we visited earlier in the trip. I tried looking for Tom Riddles locket there, but couldn’t find it. The V-man must have hit it really well.
Despite our driver’s ability to speed down a congested street on the way back from the resort, I managed to get some pictures of what I saw. Fred may be a crazy good driver (emphasis on crazy), but I am crazier.