Before we left for Uganda, our cross-cultural training teacher gave us a pearl of advice. “Don’t blog about your holidays, or everyone will think you are swanning around and not doing any work” I’m sorry David, this holiday was just too ridiculous so I’m breaking the rule and sharing.
What better place to go on holiday than the bank of the Nile river? Wonderful views, romantic canoe rides, fresh fish and chips! We chose a fishing village called ‘Pakwach’, overlooking Murchison falls national park. As I crossed the bridge and looked down on the hippos swimming in the Nile, I felt smug about our good choice. How wrong could I be with a comedy of holiday fails.
- No waterfront accommodation. Pakwach has a stunning view, with a quiet, peaceful waterfront overlooking fishing boats and hippos. After 2 hours of walking up and down the eerily vacated waterfront, we convinced ourselves there really was nothing there, and settled on the Third Fanciest Hotel in Pakwach, which at 10NZ dollars a night, had an ensuite!
- The Nile view was stunning, but marred by litter. There’s often a lot of rubbish on the ground in Gulu, but this was something else.
- No power. We like watching movies on holiday, but didn’t realise that Pakwach had no power line! Luckily, the Third Fanciest Hotel had enough solar for movie watching – providing their fridge wasn’t running…
- Insect invasion. We arrived home one night to find the room full of flies. A hatch on the river! A fly fisherman’s dream, for a romantic couple? Not so much :D. Lizards tried to help, but only the small could enter to feast.
- Despite being a fishing village, there was no fresh fish avaliable. My dream of fish and chips remained but a dream. To this day I cannot explain this anomaly. Also we’d been eating beans most days for the last 2 months, so Tessa was really looking forward to a change in her vegetarian diet. Unfortunately the only vegetarian option was, you guessed it, beans! No jokes. 15 eateries, meat and beans only. But with mandazis, milk tea and fresh avocado from the market, we managed to conjure up a tasty 3 course dinner!
- Tourist attractions. Or should I say attraction. I was excited to see the famous ‘Lake in a river’, in the middle of the Nile. As it turns out the world lake was lost in translation. There was no lake, just stagnant water in the middle of the Nile.
In all honesty it was a nice holiday. On the most part, fails morphed into some kind of success. We relaxed, wound down and were refreshed. But when you next come to Uganda, I probably wouldn’t recommend Pakwach.