I often feel overwhelmed by the fortunate circumstances and importantly a mindset of a wife, children and common spirit which permits our movement at the drop of a hat. The logistics of our open source travel is a credit to Stacia and her ability to know mileage plans, routing, finding deals, and uncovering the unusual off piste is hard to overstate. But yesterday is the perfect example of the unglamorous, sometimes brutal side of what we do. Arising in Jinga Uganda and getting stuck in Brutal 3 hour Friday traffic back to Kampala only (60km!)needing a 2 hour meeting the at he hotel, at a nearly complete hotel but under construction, then back on road in the Land Rover to Entebbe airport (thank goodness for the new highway after hours of potholes). We then catch a 9:30 pm flight to Nairobi that connects to a different plane that then gets into Lusaka ZAMBIA at 2am. This with the boys and 8 yo Annika being well attuned from last year that whining is both pointless and unbecoming. So we stumble on is relative peace. The minor and sometimes major hurdles placed in our daily path, from crazy Ebola heat screening, to the gate attendant in Nairobi as we went to board (we were last on) who said after midnight “I’m sorry but you must show us the flight from which you will leave ZAMBIA”. Stacia, “I have only Johannesburg to London. Don’t know when we fly TO Johannesburg from Lusaka but trust me we will”. The ensuing ‘discussion’ remains modestly civil yet in the end forces another run to the plane In yaw rain across the Nairobi tarmac for the 5 of us, arriving in Lusaka at 2:30 am. But we did make is, and they did power thru. So that’s the unglamorous side of the above post.
Oh, one more snippet On the above raft trip I SPECIFICALLY asked our “Safety first” raft guides about croc dangers . “Nothing to worry.” Well as it turns out a few weeks ago a local WAS dragged away by a massive croc right where we left the Nile and had been floating the last few miles The nice part Is crocs dont munch you alive but rather drowns you with death rolls as they dont prefer fresh meat but rather rotted glesh so they store your body under the side mud until ready to snack
You want more glamour? How about our hotel creator buddy (grew up here in Malawi, a Brit, don’t they all) who was fishing the Nile (Nile perch can be 100kg!!!) who he and his father snagged a something and it turned out they reeled in a human head!!!
There’s a reason why that part of the Nile is also called “the blood river”, and on up thru Congo i suppose. (Just mention going to Congo and It gives rise to eye popping stares due to the biunty from competing war lords for foreingers of just killing for sport then you’re reminded you’re downstream from lake Victoria where a few million Rwandans were victims of genocide (long ago) and that those bodies were dumped in the Nile in a sea of blood. Still today upstream is north and south Sudan, where the last people who attempted to float the Nile to the Med were summarily executed by Sudanese pirates! Fascinating place this. Uganda Is a port In a sea of bad hombres. Amazing people but yeah, we often have to be a bit lucky to have this ‘glamorous’ endeavor work as smoothly as it generally does. I do keep as much as I can in notes behind the scenes or previously in the blog @sixoffliste. And I do smile typing this in response to your prompting, in 10 hour jet lagged haze, lying on a couch of a hotel project Stacia was visionary (Ie loony) enough in which to invest near 7 years ago in the belief that this frontier would develop exactly as it has. Knowing today is an off day to scour the markets of Lusaka for trinkets with nothing the kids on a lazy day for once. And look up from my recline and see THIS on the Latitude 15 hotel wall…and thank the stars above