If dogs run free…

why not me?

Around town and beach.

We have a relaxed schedule. Get up and go for a walk and swim, return and shower, eat breakfast, relax. Then around noon or a little after, to be on the safe side, we go to the house to see if anyone is awake. In the picture the house is the one with the grey window, over the walk. The steps just before the motor bike  go up to the second floor.

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If the door is open, we visit for a while. If not, we wander around town. Many small streets and many shops. Where is Barb? Where is the Paros Fish Therapy shop? Fish eat the dead skin on your feet or hands.

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Between three and four we head  over to Martselo beach on the water taxi. We all have a great time.

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Emmett arrives tonight. Monday we go on the Captain Ben’s boat ride around Antiparos. Fun for all.

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Nothing to say today.

I have a cold. Don’t get a cold on vacation. Healing rapidly.

Island life is good.

We made it to Paros without trouble. In Istanbul we saw many Turkish flags – small ones on the utility trucks at the airport, large ones on the walls of the airport and gigantic ones draped over ten story buildings. Inside it was just an airport.

We are staying at the Argonauta Hotel, as always. Here is Barb relaxing on the patio.

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We have of course been to the beach several times. This is our favorite.

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The sunsets have been lovely. No ouzo yet, but lots of good food.

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More later. Emmett arrives this weekend. Captain Ben’s boat ride is on Monday!

Paros!

We set off for Paros, Greece, later today. We’ll fly from Montreal to Istanbul, where we have a three hour layover (no, we won’t be leaving the transit lounge), then on to Athens. We’ll stay in Piraeus overnight, and catch the early ferry to Paros. Barb hopes to be on the beach by noon.

I’ll try to post short notes and a few pictures from time to time.

Swimming in a volcano, and animals.

We have been on the road for the past few days. After the party, which was great, we went to the Kyaninga Lodge in the crater area near Fort Portal. The real draw was the opportunity for Barb and Emmett to swim in a dormant volcano cauldron.

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The water is safe to swim in due to the sharp drop off to depth so there is no area for schistosome-bearing snails to live, and the gas emerging from the slightly active volcano keeps the water slightly acidic. Here is Barb enjoying the water.

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We then had the four hour drive back to Kampala. Emmett and I rode with Rebecca, Barb, while Lib and Dennis followed in their car. No unplanned stops, just a long, hot ride. At seven the next morning we we arrived at the Red Chilli Hideaway in Kampala for the start of the trip to Murchison Falls National Park. There we joined by a nice couple from Munich, Eva and Achim, and loaded into a Toyota 4WD Diesel van. Our driver, Sam, seen here next to the machine, proved to be an expert driver. He managed the tedious drive to to the park, and the game rides through it with great skill.

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First we went to Murchison Falls where the Victoria Nile (source Jinja, where the River starts from Lake Victoria, which we saw three years ago) crashes down about 43 meters through a 7-10 meter gap. In the past the entire river went through the gap, but since the 60s there has been a secondary falls, Freedom Falls, to the north that takes some of the flow. It is still rather impressive.
The falls from above:

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With rainbow:

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The falls from below:IMG_4355

The next morning at seven am we took a ferry across the Nile to the north shore of the park, the delta region, for our first game ride. The ferry with twin 150hp engines. That is the Nile:

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We saw many animals.
Elephants:IMG_4418

Buffalo:IMG_4402

Warthogs, both large and small, this at the camp:IMG_4383

Ugandan Kob, of which there were many:IMG_4193

Lion, injured:IMG_4144

Giraffe:IMG_4517

Borassus palm forest, with elephants (iPhone cameras are nice, but aren’t real cameras):IMG_4432

This a great place! The elephants disperse the seeds and palms spring up everywhere. I don’t quite understand why there are only Borassus palms and grasses. To my surprise the elephants also eat the leaves of the palms. Palm leaves, particularly coryphoid palm leaves, are incredibly fibrous, and have loads of silica bodies. I cannot imagine there is much in the way of nutrients in them. Perhaps they are eaten as a long lasting chew. Even after we left the park we saw elephants:IMG_4527

There is a large nature preserve around the park allowing the animals to come and go as they like.

We saw Hyena:IMG_4230

Baboons (they and the warthogs liked to eat food from the tourist cars at the ferry landing):IMG_4268

Hippopotamus:IMG_4275

Then we drove back to Kampala. We are off for home tomorrow night, arriving in Montreal at around 1pm, Sunday, 24 hours after starting. I’m sure I missed lots of stuff, but this is it for now.

BBQ party and visiting Akiki.

Before the party for Lib and Dennis there were some house keeping chores to attend to. One was the installation of the purple potty in the garden. A favorite dog died and is buried under the thing. Quite classy.IMG_3728

We also had to visit Dennis and Eric’s grandmother, Akiki, before the party. Dennis was being teased by his cousins that he had failed to drop in on her sooner, and she, Akiki, was angry. This was of course not true. When we dropped by, Akiki couldn’t have been happier. They think she is around 90, but she doesn’t know exactly when as he was born. Her son, Godfrey, was Dennis and Eric’s father. He was a lawyer, as was their mother, Rosemary. Both were quite successful. So, here is the crowd visiting Akiki in her little house.

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From left to right are Blondie (Lucy), Baby-Ma (Cathy), Barb, Emmett, Akiki, Lib, Dennis, Ann-Elise and Rebecca. Blondie and Baby-Ma are cousins of Dennis, Ann-Elise forks for Kadafrica and lives with Eric and Rebecca. Rebecca is Eric’s wife. Akiki speaks mostly Rotoro and Swahili, although I think she understands a great deal more English than she will admit. Dennis speaks some is fluent in Swahili, and his cousins speak English and Swahili and Rotoro, so there was communication.

Eric and Rebecca  normally have a guard at the house at night. Here he is with Eric and Dennis. Yes the gun is loaded, and he does seem to know how to use it.

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Here are Lib and Rachael ready to party. Rachael is from Fort Portal and lives with Eric and Rebecca, actually in the small house in back with her four year old son, Gerald. Rachael does cleaning and bookkeeping  work for Kadafrica. She just purchased some land, and will, in a few years move there. Lib looks fantastic!

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Here are Blondie, Marunga (another cousin), Baby-Ma and Rachael, ready to party!

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And of course, here are Lib and Dennis towards the end of the evening.

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Without going into detail, it was great party.

 

 

 

On the road to Fort Portal.

We set out for Fort Portal in the heavily loaded Toyota with Dennis, Lib, Barb, Emmett and me, plus luggage and a cooler full of meat for the BBQ. All was well until the car overheated. Here is the place we stopped.

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Fortunately, there were some metal worker across the street who had water. Dennis arranged for them to help top up the radiator and away we went. At the time we noticed that the radiator cap was broken.

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Not surprisingly, the car soon overheated again. Here is stop two.

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Dennis did, however, have the good sense to purchase a jerry can of water, so we let things cool, then topped it up and away we went. We then stopped at ?????, purchased a radiator cap and resumed our travels to Fort Portal, engine cool all the way.

Dennis’s brother Eric and his wife  Rebecca are hosting us in Fort (as they say). Here is their house. It and the house in Kampala were built by  Eric and Dennis’s parents, Godfrey and Rosemary.

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We went to visit the farm, Kadafrica.
It is out in the boonies, but is quite lovely. Andrew, the farm manager showed us around.

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They have an area of veggies of various kinds, strawberries, cabbage, peppers, etc. They are about to prepare an additional area for passion fruit vines, after having received a round of impact investment. The trees have been cut.

 

Now they are waiting for the stumps to be pulled before planting the passion fruit. One area toward the bottom of the hill will be planted in eucalyptus trees as a seven year cash crop.

We also found a couple of dung beetles doing their thing. I cannot add more images at the moment, but will do so later.

We also visited one of the plots where local girls are given training in growing passion fruit, as a way to help make them financially independent. See the Kadafrica web site for more information. All very impressive.(pictures to follow when network is working better).

Tomorrow is the big BBQ party to meet all the Fort Portal family.

ps. Note that there is limited bandwidth in Fort Portal, so postings may be fewer than when in Kampala. I will try to catch up when we get back to the big, hot city.

pps. We are back from Fort, but bandwidth is not much better. I’ll add more later.

 

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