Saturday, April 22, 2006

Island Fun

I was in the Ssese Islands for part of the Easter weekend with a few Ugandan and Kenyan friends and I must say I should get out of Kampala more often. There was nothing that wasn’t fun about the whole trip.

I got to make my maiden voyage on a ship (actually its called a ferryboat but if it moves, sways and looks like a ship then its one) and contrary to what I thought would happen I didn’t throw up due to sea or is it lake sickness. The MV Kalangala left Nakiwogo in Entebbe at 2pm and we excepted to reach Ssese at 5pm. Initially I wasn’t looking forward to spending 3 hours on the lake but I got round to actually enjoying the experience. It helped that I was surrounded by about 20 friends so the engaging conversations and card games took my mind off the waters. In fact after the first hour it was quite festive in there, thanks largely to constant flow of beer from the bar and various other carry-on drinks and snacks from people.

After the ferry docked at Lutoboka pier in Ssese, we made our way to the Hornbill camp, which is right next to the pier.

The scenery at the camp took my breath away. There is a long semicircular beach that is shared by Hornbill and another camp and for a few seconds I thought I might be on some south pacific island until I looked around and saw the dense forests and water that was so still it couldn’t be ocean water.

I looked at the still water with both longing and trepidation. My “slight” fear of water means I have never quite learnt how to swim. I can get around but panic sets in every time the water gets shoulder high or I feel my feet are not touching any terra firma. That’s why I resisted the temptation to dive right in and instead opted to first check out the sleeping arrangements.

Most of us had opted to camp in tents (others preferred cottages) and those of us who had booked earlier found our tents ready. However, there was a mad rush for single tents (as opposed to the larger compartmentalised ones) by those whose plans for the evening involved getting cozy with somebody else in the tent as opposed to singing dirty rugby songs at the campfire. Personally I didn’t care where I crashed because I didn’t intend to do much sleeping and because I knew from an earlier experience that the campfires are the place to be.

Everything from there on was just a blast. I got to play some water games, tour the beach and generally make merry. I had a buffet supper that was quite nice and after that the night and early morning were full of singing, dancing and getting nicely juiced around the campfire.

I went to bed at some point but it can’t have been long because before long I was being woken up to go and have breakfast before boarding the 8 am ferryboat back to the mainland.

I did manage to make it to the ferry in good time and when I looked around I realised many people were paying the price for a good night. Major General Katumba Wamala was on the same boat and I remember him smiling bemusedly at our group of party-scarred people.

Sseese was quite the experience and I intend to go again, but this time I will be getting cosy with someone and there will be no all night campfire parties.

P.S would have liked to post some pics of the beach but somehow each has an individual in it and I wouldn't like to put people up on the net in their skimpies without prior consent. For the campfire, there are reputations to be protected. I dont know who reads this.


Lovely Amphibian said...

hey, great work here. kati, about Ssese; my mate, Emmanuel has told me alot about the islands. your post seems to confirm. tell me, if you had to choose between a honeymoon at dar and one at Ssese, where'd your loyalty lie?

Jay said...

Hmmm..tricky one LA since I havent been to Dar yet. But But for the real get away experience, i'd pick Ssese any day.

inktus said...

how ethical of u! not puttin pics of ur vacation and all, there r probly ppl i know in them anyway

baz said...

You make Ssesse sound mouthwatering. Be honest, you work for a ferry company, don't you?

Jay said...

Baz I wish I was. That way i'd be assured of an Island vacation every so often sans transport costs.