Always have a Plan B

If there’s one thing our man’s learned in 59 years, it’s always have a Plan B.
So this morning I got on a hugely over-crowded bus from Iganga to Mbale (it’s in the atlas)
on my way to see the grain storage project in Namalu. Had a feeling from what
the host there had told me on the phone, that it might be a bit of a mission to
get there….
Arrival at Mbale after 2 hours (quiz, which bus do you think I was on?):

The journey from Mbale to Namalu would be a journey of two halves, 1 hour taxi van to Sironko
then ….. yes, 3-4 hours on the back of a 100 cc motorbike (“boda boda”) with another
passenger over VERY bad tracks. Just what was meant by very bad tracks was hard to determine
so our man called the host at the destination again, and was told the road was “very bad”.
Years of undercover work have already rendered our man’s lower back pretty dodgy so I
made an executive decision to cancel the journey here on in, caution being the better part of
a bad back (and valour). I rang the host, Zaccary, again, to apologise (being British of course,
don’t like to let the team down chaps)
and this time he confessed that 3-4 hours was only assuming the road was good, and it was
“very bad” still – in fact he hadn’t liked to tell me initially but the likelihood was that
3-4 hours would become 5-6 hours, the additional period being divided into lots of little
bits, each involving getting off and pushing the bike through mud.

So instead, relief, I’m spending 24 hours in Mbale before a much shorter and safer boda trip to
Sipi Falls tomorrow, for 3 nights. It’s nice to have a real town to explore on my own, an
internet cafe with a new screen and LATTE coffees for sale (!!!!!!!, the first real coffee
since I got here) and a cheeseburger – God I nearly died and went straight to heaven:

Our man even got his trousers fixed by this nice young lady. The sight of my knickers being
revealed to remove the offending holey bags must have impressed her because she rfused to
charge me a bean.

Now that’s what I call style. Now, off to find a room for the night. Lonely Planet to the rescue!!

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