For those of you that don’t know, cold cold change is a song by one of my favourite bands, Midnight Oil. And for the first time in five years in Uganda, I felt cold. Just like the last few days, the morning was overcast with a bit of a chill in the air. When you were moving around it was ok, but when you sat still you got goosebumps on your arms. We all had rolex at Tembo before driving to Kasese. Calum needed to get some money out while Mrs Green and I needed to fill up the car with fuel as tomorrow we start the long journey home by driving to Entebbe. With this completed, we headed to Rwenzori Mountain Park which is about 12km outside of Kasese.
We arrived at the HQ where we were met by George, one of the rangers that Calum has been in touch with. George took us to see James, the chief warden, who was delightful and told us that George would accompany us on a walk. You could spend several weeks in the Rwenzoris if you wanted to scale one of the huge peaks. We were heading for a resting place on one of the nature circuits, which was around an hour and a half away. It was a half hour drive (all uphill) to the park gate and the beginning of our walk. George pointed out to us that we were at an altitude of 1760m above sea level. To put this into perspective, the highest point in the UK is Ben Nevis at 1345m above sea level.
The walk followed the course of a river and was just about all uphill. For the first 15 minutes, my lungs were screaming and I was sweating buckets, then it appeared to get a bit easier. However, the last 20 minutes before we reached the resting place saw me really struggle again, so I was very relieved when George told us to stop. Mrs Green and Calum both looked in better shape than I did while George bounded around like a mountain goat. He pointed out that we were now over 2000m above sea level.
Mrs Green gave us all breakfast bars to eat, which perked me up for a little while. Then my sweat-soaked clothes began to cling to me in the cold mountain air and I began to feel properly cold. We started the return journey with me leading and I soon established a good pace. Before too long, I began to feel warmer again and the descent was pleasant with lots of spectacular scenery that no camera will properly do justice to. Apart from climbing one set of steps, which nearly turned my legs to jelly, we reached the end of the walk without any problems.
We thanked George and dropped him off at the UWA HQ before heading home via the Katunguru Craft Collective (present shopping). Tonight is our last night on Mweya before we have to change our thoughts to the return home. So there is packing to be done and airport check-ins to carry out. Mrs Green has a meeting in Kampala late tomorrow afternoon and I have photos to take for my year group’s geography topic before we catch our plane in the early hours of Monday morning.
There will be one last blog post next week and I will add photos to my previous posts so more of the words will gain context.