Thursday, November 21, 2013

Furry Fruit

A week or so after we got back from safari, Alicia, Keanne, Erika, Brecklyn and myself went to a place called The Hairy Lemon. It’s a beautiful little island about 1 ½ hours journey from Jinja (not too close, not too far for some time away). It was a bit of a whirlwind trip as we left on a Monday morning and came back the following afternoon, but it was still long enough to enjoy the peace and quiet. Not only was it extremely relaxing, we were also able to spend some time swimming in the Nile and had the pleasure of sharing the island with a couple British guys who had us laughing late into the night while we hung out and played random games.

The current was really strong in the river which made it really hard to just relax so Erika and I had the great idea to walk up river and ride the current back to where we were stationed on the beach. This turned into an absolute fail as we both underestimated the depth of the water and spent a good 30 seconds caught in the current getting pulverised by rocks. I’m sure Erika looked graceful and poised throughout the entire ordeal, I on the other hand probably looked as helpless and desperate as I felt, floundering and gasping while I tried to get my feet back underneath me.
Tuesday morning, we were woken up by monkeys using our tin roof as a trampoline and spent the day lounging, reading, swimming and just generally soaking up the beauty of the place. 

Because of a connection we have with one of the local rafting companies, we were able to get a ride to and from the island on one of their big trucks as the stopping point is a short walk from where the canoe drops us on the mainland. Shortly after we arrived, a huge storm blew in and though we were under cover, all of us (the rafters and staff included) had to take cover in the kitchen as the wind was blasting the rain in on us and blowing everyone’s salads off their plates. It caused a delay and when we did head back, the dirt roads had us sliding every which way, but it made for some good entertainment.

Other interesting facts about this island? Lots of wildlife. Although they’re around, I have seen maybe 1 or 2 live snakes in Jinja in the whole 20 or so months I’ve lived here. On the island? 2 in the course of 24 hours. And not just any old snakes…very poisonous ones. We also saw a monitor lizard, but they’re just plain cool.     

Taking the short canoe ride to the island (yes, my elbow is in the picture, the redo was blurry)

The path to our cottage

If you look closely, you can see the head of a rather large snake directly to the right of tip of the grassy area. 

The green mamba that slithered out of the water...

The "swimming hole"

It's a giant glowing starfish! Nope, just me. :-)