I went to Lake Bunyonyi. The second deepest lake in Africa. The lake atop a hill. The coolest place I have ever been. It’s like sailing on glass. The water is glassy. The dotted islands look like you could carry them home,they appear like small anthills. The life on that lake is amazing. I mean kids get canoes instead of bikes to ride to school. School is on one island,the garden on another and home on the next.How cool can life be!
But it wasn’t easy gettingt there. I missed my bus,took a taxi which stopped in Lyantonde at sunrise and had to hitch hike to Mbarara. Took the last bus to Kabale,and had four heads peeping over my shoulder,made higher by the cassava sac I was seated on- whether we were almost there. Never mind I had never been to Kabale. There is discotheque in Kabale and we were treated as VIP,at Shs 3000 more just like our hotel,where due to our time of arrival,we got a threesome-meaning a room for three.
As my team and I were drunkenly struggling to get to Lake Bunyonyi, and then our island,the next morning ,I can only imagine some dude convincing some girl to go vacation there. He could have used the same words as I ,a glassy lake,atop a hill,wish you were there.
And she must have cooed and held onto his arm,like all excited girls be.
“Are you sure Mike?”
Why Mike,because I don’t trust that name.That name,especially pronounced like that is of guys who you cannot be sure of.They are bad people.They give men a bad a name.But girls like them.Sometimes calling them “Mickey?
And yet St.Michael is the archangel ,right? The biggest boy up there.But he spells his Michael,in full. May be I am just jealous. All those bad boys,stealing our thunder!
Anyway.You should have breakfast in a Kabale restaurant.You wont eat for days after that.Ask for Katogo.They served us offal with platefuls of Irish potatoes.They cure a hangover like nothing else.
By the time we sailed to meet the rest of our team ,they wanted to join us instead-something about failing to make a fire with all that wind and rain-and therefore having a delayed porridge breakfast,burnt in some places.
I can only imagine our Mickey settling in,having convinced girl in focus to take a few days off work-you can say you have a sick relative. They probably booked a tent to themselves,away from prying eyes under the thick foliage of hundred-year old trees. He must have been hoping for a solitary holiday,with hotness in tow. The islands on that lake make your thoughts get into that.Like you are the last living souls in a wide beautiful world and you don’t even care where the rest of the world went.
This island has a rope tied to a tall tree,where you can swing and dive into the lake below.But the lake is 900 meters deep and the shallow end is 40 meters,so if the branch you we swinging from fell in,you would have along journey down. That is the trick right there,You cant learn swimming in that lake,despite the temptation.
So we argued with the campsite staff.
‘The whole concept of swimming is that the deeper the water the better the buoyancy.You don’t swim downward,you swim across,’ we argued.
That silly argument was to come back to haunt us later as one heavy girl,who had never navigated water levels deeper that a bathtub,highly intoxicated in the middle of the night,with a full moon shining,perhaps convinced it was clear day, left the bar,headed to her tent,picked her swim costume and towel and headed to the lake. The splash was so loud,it woke the whole camp up,with accompanying screams.
The lifesaving activities of the night made sure of the fact that a lot of us woke up with the sun ahead around midday the next afternoon,with a tongue yanking hunger and hangover to match. A bowel of heavy porridge got me in jogging mood around the tiny island. I was duly joined by a few other colleagues.The panting soon persisted and we resorted to a walk,then trot a few meters later. With wind blowing and the glassy lake looking oh so lovely,our voices must have been lost in the wind-so to say.
We round the bend to a scream of surprise,and gypsy skirt being hurriedly put in place where it belongs around the waist. The look on the dude’s face was award winning,fly letting in all the island wind ,mouth agape,camp bench feeling defiled ,half empty bottle of wine lying on the table.
We quickly made a decision to pass by,as if we had not had our afternoon walk violated by on -heat adults. Only, one of the girls in our group knew the girl in white gypsy skirt. A quick hello was said,and if possible,we must have chorused;we didn’t see anything.
There was our Mickey at work.