My journey to Rwenzori: Travel day to Kasese

A view of the Rwenzori ranges as you approach Kasese town

By Laker Winfred L

Our expected time of departure from Kampala to Kasese was supposed to be 9 am, but waah! And me I kerad bulungi. I was early. Too early if you ask me! 7:30 am got me at departure point. I never like those things of anxiety mbu I have been left behind, so I mind my time.

We, however, left at midday or some time around there, way beyond our estimated time earlier mentioned; after all the travelers had gathered at start off point. Yeah, I know right?! Time management isn’t exactly a forte in some persons. Never mind that it means disrespecting others’ time.

There was a silver lining though. Those that arrived early got to eat some very delicious katogo. These guys at our departure place make a mean katogo, the guys at Naalya motel. Their spiced chai pii or spiced black tea is very good too. Gives your tongue some good tingly feeling.

Hardly 30 minutes into our journey, we encountered luggage trouble. Bags just flew out the back of the super custom. Jami oket idye yoo ata like that. They didn’t grow wings. No. The back door of the car gave them reason to fly out. It just flew open and our bags were out there scattered the thick layers of sand on the dusty road.

Our strewn bags all over the dirt road were immediately sorted out and placed back into the vehicle by the very apologetic driver.

I like looking for a speck of silvery things in every bad situation. The falling of the bags made mine easily identifiable because it got a serious dust beat up from the fall. I was heading out to the most mythical places in Uganda. A bag rolling in dirt wasn’t going to dumpen my mood!

I said to myself; “Since we got bags from the same jamaa, all our bags are similar in colour and make. So when time to pick one’s bag comes, I will just look for the dirtiest red bag and viola!”

Our automobile started to show bad mechanical signs from the get go but we left anyways. Some were worried, some were in a neutral state and some just wanted to get to Kasese. So off we went.

Now to nyinyi jamaas involved in the business of transporting people from point A to point Z, good transportation is always key whenever you are in charge of taking clients on a trip.

Always check the vehicle well ahead of time and have it fixed in case of a little problem, else, you are going to get delayed or might even have to postpone the trip.

If you want referrals in the future, have an enterprise with assured going concern, ensure the vehicle you are hiring out not only transports your passengers safely to their destination, but your reputation too.

Just know happy clients mean happy bank account for you, a good portfolio, and great reputation which will turn into great leads in the future.

A pissed off client on the other side they say translates into lost 15 potential client leads with your reputation thrown into some backwater crack of a dungeon along the way; a dungeon that will cost you to get out of.

Back to our vehicle! We struggled and reached Mubende.

Photo by Laker Winfred L: Mubende roadside chicken!

I was happy to see chicken. Yes, gweno excites me. Especially if they are roasted and come fixed on a stick. Sawa, a skewer.

And, yes, the Mubende roasted chicken has its own unique taste. It beats Namawojjolo chicken in tenderness while Namawojjolo chicken beats it in that firm, sturdy and unique state of the chewy chicken affairs.

Mubende gweno abula tastes like it was baked to soft delicious tenderness and melts upon touching your tongue.

Namawojjolo on the other hand gives you gweno that’s good to bite and tastes like gweno pa lakee, you know, for one that likes to eat their meat or a meat lover. It’s roasted to some fine chicken firmness.

After Mubende we kept making stop overs at pretty much every small center we could. The driver would bring the car to a sudden halt, jump out of his seat without notice, disappear into some home or shop, return with a jerrycan of water then yank some section in between the seat behind the driver and the front passenger seat, and pour water in there.

There would be some popish-puthshh sounds like mad water boiling in a small squeezed space at some high degree point and steam would follow and almost fill the car. He would give it a bit of time, close the thing up, and we would be on our way.

This routine continued kumeno, like that, until we reached Kasese.

On arrival, we kept going and going and going, eventually got lost in the process. Given that it was already dark, curfew fears looming and none of us knew the route, it took a while before we could find our bearings.

See if our vehicle was in good order this wouldn’t have happened.

Our effort to seek help from a bodaboda was quashed because he was asking for too much money. We eventually made calls with the people in Kampala and got a WhatsApp Pin from our friends who were ahead of us and made our way to Base camp.

You gotta thank the scientists ojone. Without this Pin thing we would have taken forever finding the Base camp!

Upon arrival, we checked in at the Rwenzori Base camp Tours Holiday Inn. Nice simple place seated at the bottom of the mountain.

I could hear some river letting its water gush down down the mountain in a distance; as if announcing to use that we were in its presence.

The weather was very chill too with the breeze lazily blowing the banana leaves into some sort of leaf symphony under the moonlit night.

We then got to the business of getting to know what crampons, ice axes, gators, snow glasses, harnesses, walking sticks were and the works in real life.

No, you wont be riding a horse up there, the harness is for you. The ice axes are not for The Croods to work the rocks either or for Sid from Ice Age to use in dealing with icebergs. They are for you. Not for creating ridges on the side of the mountain but for use up on the snowline on summit day.

The crampons which looked like some gizmo the Umeme guys use for climbing electric poles were also fitted to our hiking shoes.

Yes, walking sticks are essential and not something for old people. Up there it’s an all people thing.

We then had our first briefing from the Tour guides, took dinner and bonded a little as a team. It is at this point that it started to settle in; I was heading to the mountain the next day!

I then went to bed.

I didn’t know that that night would be the only comfortable night I would have in the next 4 days!

If only I knew, I would have gone to bed early. Not that it would have made much of a difference but it would have meant something! You know, a good 8 hours of sleep like the health people say!

Published by Latin Mucwini

I like food. I read. I exercise. And I am Luo. I am on this adventure called writing. Cannot wait to see where this goes

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