Our second little excursion rivaled the first, but in a completely different way. We drove a little ways out to a site featuring caves, waterfalls, and crater lakes. I couldn’t tell if it was a national park or not because there were houses along the road and boarding school boys doing laundry in the creek. All the same, they charged us admission ($10) and assigned a very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide named Robert.
At first the terrain seemed plain. There were large clearings and barbed wire fences, just like in Kaihura. A little boy carrying a toddler walked with us. Soon however, we reached the real “jungle” as we made our way to the caves. The path was narrow, with huge steps that were rocky, muddy, and semi-slippery. There was a canopy above us formed by many trees and plants twisted together. The air felt cool and moist.
We didn’t walk very far before reaching the waterfall. It was so pretty with water raining down and the droplets bouncing off the rocks. So much energy! The boys + Natalie stood under the water and waded across the small pool. It was super impressive because the water was freezing! But going behind a waterfall is such a loud, beautiful, magical view. I really like it. You can see Carl in the pic:
Afterwards, we trekked a little further to a few other caves and saw the stalagmites and stalactites. A lot of people here know them as breasts (and some as cow utters) because they resemble the shape. It was awesome because there was one cave where people went to smoke and connect with their ancestors. There was a great sitting rock, a total Sun Wu Kong resting site.
After the caves, we hiked up a series of fairly steep hills and from the top, could see three crater lakes and one ex-crater lake. Apparently the last one dried up but is still a little marshy. Parents try to keep children away by warning that they would be stolen by 3-legged women if they went down there. At the highest hill, we took a series of photos from jumping to break dancing to just plain posing. A little mist was rolling in from far away and the view all around was far stretching and breathtaking. Like the hills were alive. Maybe with the sound of music.
When we had come down on the narrow path overgrown with thorn bushes and taller-than-me grass, we rested a little at the visitor’s center and ate the PB&J’s we’d packed. We also met two other Americans working with women’s ministries. One was from Missouri! 😀 Then a couple girls bought some jewelry and crafts from the cabinet gift shop (all of it was literally sitting in a single wooden cabinet). The lady must not have a lot of customers because she seemed overjoyed that we were buying so much stuff.
Now we’re back at the hotel and I’m not sure when I’ll have Internet access again after today. We plan on staying in Kaihura for the next two weekends, possibly spending a couple nights at Faith’s, and then off to Kampala for the last few days before heading home. So this may be my final post for a while and my last time in Fort Portal. Good-bye good-bye Fort Portal! Thanks for the adventures!