Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We drank Nile in the Nile.

We spent the New Year at “The Hairy Lemon” in a remote part of the Nile River, near the “Nile Special” wave; reportedly one of the best kayaking waves in the entire world. Getting to this charming little island is an endeavor of its own. We took a two hour taxi ride from Kampala, turned down dirt paths overgrown with weeds and had to stop for directions on several occasions. You go though an iron gate and at the river you bang on a tire rim to announce your arrival. Then, a man in a dugout canoe paddles over and picks you up and paddles you into the reeds and over to the island.

It’s a cozy little place with three bandas, a camping area and long drop toilets (you dump ash in to help with the smell, and shockingly, it isn’t the worst toilet I have encountered in Africa.) The price includes three communal meals a day. Usually the meals included beans and chapatti, but they were filling and hot and you could purchase ginger beer (a wonderful, wonderful development of my life in Africa. The brand is “Stoney” and its made by Coca Cola, but I’m not sure if you can find it at home.) They also had lots of Nile Beer and Egyptian Cadbury chocolates. We read, laid in the sun, loafed and watched birds. Uganda is famous for its huge variety of birds and we saw a fish eagle, lots of egrets, cormorants, kingfishers and weaver birds. (The latter are the ones that make those incredible hanging nests.)

Eric couldn’t get enough of the water and waded up and down the Nile, navigating a swift current and lots of big boulders. He got scraped up a bit, but had a marvelous time. He discovered some other islands and now has big plans for us to make our own little Nile paradise, complete with an airstrip. Chris and Linda did a lot of river walking as well, and we all went on a river walk that got very exciting. My toenails had gravel wedged underneath them from trying to cling to rocks as the current tried to drag me away. It was wild.

We brought champagne along to ring in the New Year and the bartender did a Poi Dance at midnight. She held two cables with kerosene wicks at the ends and she twirled them into patterns in the night. It had a very spooky, magical effect; making halos of light around her face and the beach and water behind her. It was beautiful way to welcome 2007. I wonder what this next year will bring. Our lives have been so full of adventures, I have no idea what to expect or hope for. I have a sense of things being so weighted with meaning and beauty that I can’t imagine what else to hope for.

1 comment:

The Taylors said...

Happy New Year Becky!!!!! I'm loving reading about your travels - New Year's sounds great. We got the awesome package you sent just before the kids' Xmas break -- they LOVED everything (mostly because it came from you), and the dirt was a big, big hit for Gabriel's class. Thank you so much! XO from all of of us :)

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