I had a full day in Kampala. Breakfast at the Ruch Hotel was pretty disappointing after those fabulous buffets at the game park lodges. I did manage to get some eggs, sausage, fried tomatoes, and toast (white bread again). I spent the morning feeding my blog into the computer via hotel wifi before venturing out into the city. The area I am staying in is pretty nice and has sidewalks, but still lots of traffic so you feel like you are taking your life in your hands crossing the street. I did not see any traffic signals or lanes, so the cars just seem to push their way through the traffic circles.
I walked past parliament to the national theater. Behind it is a crafts market with about twenty stalls. This was plenty for me since I did not have much Ugandan money. I bought 3 batiks, which I love. A lot of the wood carving, drums, pottery, etc looked like stuff you could get at a Pier 1 store, and I can't carry them anyway.
On the way home I stopped to look at the most expensive hotel in town, the Serena Kampala. The grounds are lovely. I had lunch at the main restaurant, sitting in a quiet outdoor area overlooking a garden, waterfall and lily pond. You pay for this ambience, of course. Lunch of grilled tilapia and vegetables was about $15 and a glass of white wine was about $10. Thankfully, a bottle of water was only about $1.50. Price was not as big an issue as finding someplace in town that would take a credit card. The manager was very friendly and when I was done eating he gave me a tour of the other restaurants and bars at the hotel, as well as the health club and outdoor pool area. All is very beautiful, elegant, and tasteful. They have the longest lap pool I have ever seen, which connects under a bridge to a large swimming pool and kiddie pool. The health club was gorgeous, with a lot of new looking, sturdy exercise equipment and a separate wood floored aerobics room. The health club was huge and there was nobody in there except the two gym guys. The pool had been empty except for two wazungu girls. The restaurants and bars, however, had a lot of customers, all black.
I spent the evening catching up on my blog, since I have not had internet capacity to post in about six weeks.
The next morning I took a taxi to Entebbe and checked into the Central Inn, a fairly inexpensive place at $50 including breakfast and transportation to the airport. After the crazy traffic in Kampala, Entebbe seems like a quiet and green lakeside resort. I walked through town and you can see Lake Victoria along much of the main road. I stopped at Anna's Corner (www.1000cupscoffee.com). It is run by an Italian woman about my age who came to Africa many times for the animals before settling in Entebbe three years ago to run this combination crafts store, internet cafe, community cente, coffee bar and restaurant. The money goes to support local charitable causes. The outdoor restaurant was a beautiful thatched roof patio overlooking a garden. I had a tuna sandwich on toast for the first time since leaving the USA, as well as a salad and beer for about $7. Afterwards I sat down with Anna in her office for about an hour and chatted about our lives in Africa, living in Entebbe, etc.
I continued walking down the main road to the post office, where I mailed Matt's birthday card. It takes 14 working days to get to LA, so watch for it, Matt! I walked down a hill towards the lake to visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Center. There were many school buses and a long line to get in. Prices are 5,000 shillings for Ugandans and 30,000 for foreigners (about $14). I am leaving this country tomorrow and didn't have that much money, so I just went in the gift shop and looked around. When I went out, I met a motorcycle driver (called bulas here?). He said he would take me back for 5,000 shillings, but accepted 2,085 when I told him that was all I had left.