Monday, September 18, 2006

Hippos, Rhinos, Crocs and Shoulders


Well we headed up to Murchison Falls national park on the weekend - hired a car and driver and set off (an hour and half later than arranged in true African style). Murchison Falls is in the north of Uganda where the Nile river is forced through a gap about 7m wide where is goes over two falls of about 50m each - very impressive. It's also a national park full of animals - there were baboons all over the road on the drive in and we had to stop for a tortoise to cross the road. Then at the campground we were warned that hippos had been grazing there the night before so toilet trips in the middle of the night suddenly became a little exciting (although we heard something munching we didn't see hippos in the campground).
The next morning was our game drive where we saw all sorts of gazelle type things, giraffes, elephants, warthogs, buffalo, squirrels and two lions in the distance. Then the afternoon was a boat cruise up towards the falls, with numerous hippos and crocs in the water it was a lot of fun then the view of the falls themselves were amazing - the monkeys in the trees seemed to be checking out the tourists as much as the tourists were checking out the monkeys.
On the way back on Sunday it rained loads and the other cars we saw were all bogged - luckily our driver was awesome and we stayed safe even though the windscreen wipers didn't work and the rain was torrential. We stopped on the way home at the rhino sanctuary where they are introducing a rhino breeding program to attempt to restore a rhino population in Uganda - they've been extinct since the 70s due to poaching. We walked to within 5m of the rhinos which was pretty amazing.
Now we're back at NRE - unfortunately I managed to dislocate my shoulder yesterday and it wasn't even while I was paddling I just tried over on the edge of the river and managed to throw my shoulder out somehow with no external force on it. It was out for about 5-10 secs (of screaming) before I remembered that last time it went back in when I moved my arm round to my chest - it went back in as soon as I did that but yeah... will have to wait and see what that does to the paddling plans. Not happy at all about it considering I've spent all year strengthening my shoulder hmmm looks like a physio visit or three when I get home.
We're off down to hairy lemon today so I'll just chill out down there and watch the monkeys tease the dog and read some books while the others paddle. Hopefully I'm not off the water for too long.