Today was another big driving day, as it took 7 hours to get from Kisase to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. We got started at 0930 and didn’t arrive at our hotel, the Emin Pasha Hotel, until 1700. We stopped for lunch for about 45 minutes at an orphanage in a small village, and Marv made a donation. Leslie picked up some shawls at a vendor at an earlier stop, where we also picked up some Fantas.
Upon leaving the lodge, we saw elephants, buffalo, and antelope but moved on without stopping: “That was so yesterday,” Leslie remarked.
The drive was unremarkable, but did include beautiful rolling hills and vistas, tea and banana plantations, and a variety of farming. We also noticed that a lot of the infrastructure development was foreign managed. Robert explained that the Ugandans still had close ties to the British, who had leases to run industrial endeavors, such as cement factories. As we got closer to Kampala, we noticed Chinese road crews building roads and undertaking construction projects.
We also noticed the influence of Indian culture in the cuisine, the look and feel of the businesses, and the advertisements. For example, samosas were on every menu and the presence of large Indian conglomerates manifested themselves in architecture and marketing.
The hotel was is called the Emin Pasha Hotel, a German Jew who had quite an interesting and adventurous life in Africa (but not much to do with the hotel that bears his name). It was a walled oasis/villa amidst the capital city.
Lush gardens, immaculate, tasteful, and luxurious furnishings, and delicious food. I had dinner in while Marv and Leslie went out with Robert for Chinese food (I wasn’t feeling well – slight stomach cramps, which Cipro ultimately cleared up). I also watched the first television in many many weeks (CNN), and learned about the freezing weather in the US (including my home city, Boston).
When Marv and Leslie returned from their outing, I learned that they went to the Fang Fang restaurant, and that it was outstanding.
Tomorrow we fly out of Kampala and I begin my adventure alone in Ethiopia.