Sunday, March 24, 2013

Amazing Race Honeymoon Edition Part 1: The Journey

I’ve reached the conclusion that every newlywed couple should embark upon a honeymoon like ours… it can be summed up in one word: ADVENTURE.

But before I get into the details (don’t worry… not too much detail ☺ )… I just have to take this time to thank everyone who contributed to our honeymoon registry. Without it, we would have been having our honeymoon at our little house because we so didn’t have the money to pull of the dream honeymoon that God provided through everyone’s support.

Ok, so back to our “amazing race”… it began here in Jinja at the Kampala Coach office – great customer service by the way, and they have seats that recline and head rests that actually give your head some support… although their buses may or may not be older than I am. We decided to go to Zanzibar via Kigaali, Rwanda and then through Tanzania for two reason: 1) both Davis and I had already been to Kenya and wanted to see some place new and 2) the Kenyan elections were just finishing and last time there were major riots so we thought we’d spare ourselves that “adventure” until maybe the way back. Ok so there we go… the journey there…. Like I said, it began in Jinja on Thursday afternoon, they then had us board a taxi (they paid) and had us head to Kampala because they didn’t have any buses passing through Jinja because of before mentioned Kenyan elections. So here starts the tally for the number of hours it took us to get there – 2 hours to Kampala – We get to Kampala and take bodas to the bus loading area for Kampala coach. Word of he wise – use the restroom before you get to the bus station, don’t ask me how I know, but I’m just sayin… Finally at 9pm (we left Jinja at 4) we board our bus.

We traveled for 12 hours and reached Kigali at 9 the next morning. We then were informed the next bus for Dar Es Salaam doesn’t leave until 5:30 the next morning so the very nice guy from the bus company suggested a guest house close to the bus park we could stay at and gave us some pointers about getting around Kigali. We checked into our “hotel” and we’re still not quite sure if they’ve had any other customers… ever. But it had a bed and running water (in the evening after they fixed it) so we couldn’t complain. We then decided to check out Kigali and see if what we’ve heard about it was true… we were (ok more like I was) like such a little villager, in shock at the modern way they do things. Even the bodas all have to wear helmets and only take one passenger who also has to wear a helmet (in case you’re not familiar, that’s NOT the case here in Uganda). It’s also VERY clean. There are police everywhere so everyone behaves most of the time too. All in all, it was a nice little city.

Bright and early the next morning we wake up and head to the bus park. We get on our bus that’s in even worse condition than our Kampala coach… and this time our trip will be 24+ hrs. As we begin, the bus starts zipping around the Rwandan mountains and I seriously felt like I was on a roller coaster, it was at that point I praised God for Bev and her giving me motion sickness medicine. As we passed through Rwanda, it was absolutely beautiful and full of mountains. At the Rwanda/Tanzania border, they had an awesome river and waterfall. It was amazing the change between Rwanda and Tanzania how it was almost as soon as you passed the border. In the midst of our 24 hour amusement park ride, I had a little bit of a claustrophobia/panic attack as NOTHING was familiar and I had no control of anything… at all… Davis being the very fabulous husband that he is, agreed that I should try reading my Bible to get me through that little “episode”. Then, it was just so clear, God whispered to me that Davis was a tangible expression of His heart of wanting to protect/care for/comfort/provide for me and I needed to trust Him and also Davis. It was quite a cool lesson for a new wife to learn.

In Tanzania, you’re not allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and 4am and so the bus pulled over at a little roadside town at 12:30 and we all were able to get out, find food (at 12:30) and figure out how to get a little sleep. We got out and there was this little disco that was rather hopping and outside there were a couple of food stands. One of which was an old man making eggs with French fries in them… talk about the perfect midnight snack. It’s one of my favorite memories of our travels, thinking about sitting there with the music, sipping tea, and eating that fabulous Tanzanian fast food. We then brushed our teeth like good little children and got a little sleep and 4am we were off again.

Finally by 10am the next morning we pulled into Dar. We took a taxi as Davis practiced his Swahilli and we headed to the ferry port. We paid $5 extra for the “first class” tickets as I was warned the ferry trip could be a little gnarly. We boarded our ferry and it was nice and new and sat in our cushy first class, air-condtioned seats. I took my handy dandy motion sickness medicine and we were off again. In the midst of my semi-conciousness (partly because of the medicine and part because of the trip), they had Madagascar 2 playing and so needless to say, I managed ok and my adventurous husband spent most of his time checking out the view from up top.

By 2pm Sunday we landed in Zanzibar. We (Davis) got us a Taxi and we drove another hour and reached the hotel. Ok so now class… let’s do some math… We left Jinja at 4pm Thursday… we reached our hotel at 3pm on Sunday… that’s right folks… 71ish hours to get there. But it was very cool even in the midst of motion sickness and freak outs, we were able to see some awesome East African countryside. I also learned I could totally and completely trust Davis’ wisdom as he was right pretty much 100% of the time as we encountered various situations and I was w…. well never mind ☺ Needless to say I learned a lot. And that’s just our journey there. It was an awesome adventure for us and definitely not something we will ever forget.


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