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Lake Bunyonyi, 900 liters deep

January 21, 2017

This post is about how we ride out of the jungle and reach a beautiful lake and the next day prepare to do a big charity.

 


We woke up, camping in the pygmies’ lost forest catching very little sleep. We probably lay more comfortable on our inflatable mattresses then they usually do but nevertheless, we did not sleep good neither of us. A little scared of Pumba from the lion king or the sometimes very aggressive forest elephants. We did see fresh poop from elephants yesterday on the road

 

and some older turds

 

 

from the mighty gorillas. It is interesting with this that you can see what they have eaten. Like the gorilla has eaten these long threads looking like bark, just like the ones we found where the gorillas sat when we met them in the jungle.

 

It is amazing how happy and not tired we are waking up after this night of little sleep. We get up around 7 am. None of us complains. None of us has a bad temper. We have hardly anything to eat before eleven this day. We are amazed by the excitement and beauty of being in this forest.

 

It is truly a great reflection and experience on how morning temper is just in your head.

 

We pack down our stuff, uncover our hidden bicycles and sit up in our saddles. We start our safari today by seeing some beautiful birds. Imagine a crossing between Skata, Påfågel and a parrot, that is the bird we saw. Long feathers like the Påfågel. Jumping in the trees like a Skata and a beak like a parrot. I think it might have sang good morning to us, but that might also have been pure imagination.

 

 

A good part of the uphill we get good help from a nice american couple and their driver. They are out looking for birds in the forest and found these rare swedish crazy cycle birds and just had to help them get up the hill.


We go on and reach the end of the forest. The roads are super dusty here. Meeting a vehicle - which we luckily seldom do - means we have to stop for a few seconds before we can see anything again.

 

We come to the tarmac road and go on to the coast of the mesmerizing lake Bunyonyi. One of the world’s deepest lakes. 900 liters deep according to a local drunk. It is also an incredibly beautiful lake. Smooth hilly surroundings with a Teletubby hill like character.

 

Long fjords tentacle in between the hills. It gives us an urge to jump in. But there is no good source telling us that this lake is free from the Bilharzia parasite, which is wormlike and really nasty. So we just enjoy the view.


We climb higher and Fredrik is tired from the sickness but we want to visit one island in the lake so we go on.

 

Not much left and the app maps.me shows us a path which is pretty much a challenge for someone walking without anything to carry. It is a very steep drop. Maybe 300 m down. Shortcut?  

Well we are a bit annoyed by the maps choice of route but now the sun is setting, we are tired and there is also uphill going back to the main road.


We finally come to the canoe ferry spot just before dawn and we get transported over for a reasonable price of 1 dollar.

 

The place is really nice but sadly like most places in Uganda, both in hospitals and guest houses the staff or owner is not very nice and very little serviceminded. We stay a couple of nights and find the bill not surprisingly with some extra meals on. Not the first time that has happened. Of course we just tell them and they say sorry and take it off but it is just not fair. It is annoying. But then again, life is not fair.


So more about the Pygmies of lake Bunyonyi. We came to know about this community through Malin Sjöblom, a friend of Christians, who has been here before and also given a lot of support for them over the years. So we meet her local contact Francis and he shows us around town as we do some small errands and bunker up for giving this group support in food and school materials. We know Malin and her friends has collected a great sum for this cause so we buy as much as we can.

 

 

1150 kg of beans, 100 kg of maize meal and 100 kg of rice. We also buy all schoolbooks there is and three pencils for each student.

 

Francis finds us a transport. It must be the worst car I have ever seen working. It is really rusty. The rear view mirrors are hardly holding together.

 

The windshield is broken into at least 8 big sections and we just wait for it to fall in from the vague pressure from the wind when we drive. The car sounds terrible and smells bad when we go up the steep hill. The driver stops and notices that he lost something on the way and gives us even less space inside by moving packing from the trunk to our seats.

 

They sit three in the front seat for two. One has the gear stick between his legs. But we get to our destination. I stay up late in the night and draw the big check of 1000 USD on top of the supplies we bought. This is the first time we give away a sum like this but it is upon request from Malin since it needs to go to teachers salaries and buying land for agriculture and housing. We really hope the money goes where it is supposed to.


In the morning of our excursion to the village, Christian and I have breakfast in the boat. We don’t eat so much because of some stomach problems. But we have a mission and we also get accompanied by Loes from Holland and Gabriella from state of New York.

 

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