Climbing the Rock! – Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Due to delays in fabricating the miller and the huller in Kampala, the contractor ended up traveling all the way to Kampala after getting some supplies in Mbale to get things back on the right track. Because of this, we had a day of rest. Brian went in to town to get a newspaper and a chai. Shalni and Gab did a little bit of shopping, and Eric read in the hotel before indulging in a “rolex” for lunch (fried eggs wrapped in chapati).

We soon got news that Titus had procured permits to climb Soroti Rock, the local geological attraction (a big granite rock). Not only did we get a permit for the municipal council, but we also had to get permission from the local police.

Finally David drove Titus and the four of us to the Rock, and we proceeded up the steep rock stairway. The going was steep, but Soroti Rock is only about 100 or 150 meters tall so it was not a long hike. Everybody was surprised to find a plethora of goats bleating and eating weeds at the top — perhaps they have found temporary refuge from ending up on a dinner plate.

The view was quite impressive from the top of the Rock. It was very apparent how flat the surrounding landscape is. Soroti stretches away in mostly every direction, and we could see to Lake Kyoga to the West, and to other points of interest such as swamps and small hills. It was particularly interesting how all the sounds from Soroti could be heard: people smashing big rocks into gravel, music from the bars, the hustle and bustle of town, cars and motorcycles speeding along – it was almost like the vantage point you would get from playing Sim City.

We took lots of photos, climbed a ladder to the top of a rock (Brian too, though reluctantly due to his fear of ladders), and Titus even convinced the army guy at top to let us go all the way to the highest point, which is an army outpost.

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We were fortunate to have fair weather – though not sunny, not rainy either – the breeze was even quite refreshing. While we were at the top of the Rock we even spied half a dozen or more monkeys. How exciting!

After about an hour or so at the top, we all climbed down and David and Titus dropped us off in town. We discovered the food market, Eric bought a pair of shoes for $5, and then we settled down at Landmark for an early dinner. After dinner everybody was quite tired and went to sleep rather early.

With love,
The Soroti Rock-stars

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