When I travel with family to Mbale, I reside in my village, never in the town. However, when I travel for work, staying in town is the convenient choice. But when I travel with friends, nothing beats the camping options. A few years back we took the fun to Bulambuli just past Sironko district and headed for Sisiyi falls!
It was hands down the most beautiful camp site I had inhabited. Tents enclosed by huge boulders that are buried deep in the soil and gripped by roots of wide canopied trees, small streams running through the gardens and the falls crushing into moss covered rocks a few meters away. It was Amazon living and as Ugandans say, “we had arrived”.
With friends, I sometimes push adventure to its limits, but with family not so much. You know parents, “don’t climb that, be careful, I have only one Sarah!” Oh, the love! But yah, since they weren’t there the first time, we took that scary hiking trail. And this is how it went down:
It was a typical morning, gentle sun-rays cutting through the thin cloud cover, perfect for the sumptuous breakfast the chef had prepared. Loaded with energy, we set off for the hike. We expected it would be steep and tiresome, but not that steep and borderline terrifying. There were several moments of regret getting me to the brink of tears. I wonder where they get these guides from, the bluntness! Anyone looking for boot camp drill masters, these are your guys. “Madam, you cannot turn back, we all have to reach the top, then go back via the other side”. I assumed the other side would be a much gentle slope! It was even worse that the ascent route and by now, the light shower was turning heavy.
At its heaviest, we took shelter in the surrounding homes. But even that couldn’t keep out the cold that started sipping into my bones. With even more screams and near tears at the descent, we made it back to the camp site and completed the hike at the base of the falls. Card games and delightful conversation started the evening and ended in the wee hours of the morning. I knew I had to go back. I did and so will you for the family version at the falls…