Becoming precious…

by Luke, in Uganda
11th December, 2009

Finished a hardcore morning of tracking rhinos today. This was great as we got to see both the babies – the only two rhinos having been born in Uganda in over 27 years – which was pretty special. Godfrey was our guide and we pranced around in front of the camera in an attempt to be oblivious to the 2.5 tonne wild white rhino about ten metres behind us. The rhinos were fairly laid back and no misadventures occurred and then we hit the road towards our next stop in Bwindi. At this point I’m going to hit you with some fun facts about white rhinos such as that they have a 16 month gestation (black rhinos have only a 15month gestation), they weigh up to 2.5 tonnes, live until about 45 years of age and graze in social groups with big flat lips (as opposed to a prehensile hooked upper lip which their much more aggressive but small solitary black rhino cousins have). Hope you feel enlightened.
After a nice farewell to the wonderful Angie and her kind family, we hit the road. Describing an 8 hour road journey, 4 hours of which were in the dark, with poor lights and variable road rules, in words other than terrifying and death defying would be tough. Luckily Adam drove heroically the whole way which meant we made good speed but also presented numerous opportunities for him to impart driving tips to other road users as we passed them and which I’m certain they all found useful. Needless to say, he got us here safe and sound which was the key and with much relief we are now in our stop over motel before we nail another six hours road travel tomorrow. It’s just gone midnight and hitting the sack is the next mission. Looking at the ‘sack’ I want to hit, I definitely won’t be the first to have done so judging from the massive dip in it. African motels in small towns on main roads have a special reputation and I’m keen to remain as naïve about this as possible. It might not be a plan to slip a visit here onto a honeymoon itinerary – there is hot water – and a working light – which is handy or I might not be able to read the large HIV leaflet complete with stomach turning pictures that has been left in my room for me. Very thoughtful. I wish I had packed a plastic sheet for the bed though – not too sure about the big black stain in the middle of it – perhaps all this ‘stardom’ is making me a bit precious…

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