I LOVE Ginger….. ginger lemon tea, ginger in a stir fry, ginger in a curry, ginger bread, ginger cookies, ginger with sushi…….I cannot get enough of it. And as it turns out I have loved Jinga, the small town in Uganda as much as the spicy peppery spice! Jinga is found to the east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, and on the northern shores of Lake Victoria where the Victorian Nile exits this massive lake and starts it 6650km journey through South Sudan, Sudan & Egypt … and finally 3 months later (!!) exiting into the Mediterranean in Alexandria.
What was meant to be a 2-week stay in Jinja has turned into a 3 week stay… we just kept extending our time here.
On first arrival we were rather distraught that we had perhaps put Jinga on too high a pedestal for our 2 weeks of relief from camping and the strain of being on the road … this town looked no different than all the other African towns we had passed through - red mud in the main streets, seriously potholed roads, where was this gorgeous little colonial town we had heard about…? But thankfully our first impressions were soon wiped clean and before us did indeed lie this amazing little town ready to be explored with the beauty just an inch behind the red dust!
We had booked ourselves into the gorgeous Turaco cottage at Nile River Gardens on the Kampala side of Jinga – a bit out of town(peaceful and quiet), with a massive garden with pooches, direct easy access to the Nile river, plus it came with awesome kids for our kids to play with and the most welcoming warm friendly hosts who opened their arms with love and friendship. Our cottage was exactly what we needed – a real kitchen, proper beds, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, a lounge with a much needed couch, a veranda for early morning teas and late afternoon G&Ts, a washing machine (BLISS) and just a little more space to spread out and make it our home.
Jinga is a little gem of a town. Being an old colonial town these gorgeous old 1920/30 buildings are still lining the Main Street. Although in a bad state of disrepair and coated in the Jinga red dust, they still ooze the grandeur of bygone days. A few of these stunning old buildings now gorgeous “European” coffee shops and restaurants – giving the tourists and local expats a little splash of luxury and “home comforts” and a breather from the busy town. Having a choice of “what to eat” was awesome – Mexican, Shwarmas, Asian, local food with a twist, Indian curry, Pizzas, sweet treats…. Between these gorgeous colonial revamps and other little foodie gems we were spoilt on the culinary scene!
Our time here has been busy yet also peaceful and restorative. We spent a night in Kampala with new friends who once again open their homes to us, we flew down this massive slide into the Nile, we have swung on ropes into the Nile, we have been invited to new friends homes for dinner and drinks, we have eaten well, we have cruised the Nile, we have baked, we have done school work, we have done video edits and uploaded photos, we have eaten a roast again, we have laughed, we have rested, we have fixed things, we discovered a nest of baby rats in our aircon (THE SMELL IS BAD!!!), we have swum endlessly in the Nile, the kids quad biked, the kids have played and played with new friends and been kids again, Dev and I have been able to sit alone on the stoep and chat, …. We have LOVED every minute of our time here. So much so we extended our 2 weeks to 3!
We have had the much needed breather from packing up camp every 2-4 days and the constant moving that being on the road involves. We feel strong again!
I am not yet able to explain it, but somehow Uganda has touched me in a way that the other countries have not. It has got under my skin and deep into my soul. I will be very sad to leave this country that has embraced us and revealed its amazing vastly different places. To have driven their red roads, to have experienced their massive storms, their vast mountains and deep valleys….. the images of “life along the roads” will be imprinted in my mind forever x
But, “Acorn” the trailer is looking very neglected and forlorn and KENYA and its bounty of beautiful places in calling us to come and explore….. And we are ready now. We are ready to take the next steps of our journey with our rested souls, and our minds ready to grasp all that lies ahead. We are ready to explore from the dry dusty western areas all the way to the tantalising coastline!
Thank you again for your love and support of our journey. We feel it x