Yes, I went camping. Yes, Christopher Stuart Taylor went camping and slept outside. Stop laughing and read the post.
Our camping trip started Saturday morning with a dalla dalla ride to the bus station for our travels to Bunda Hill, which is about a 2-3 hour bus ride east of Mwanza.
All things considering, minus the man preaching over the loudspeaker for the first hour of the trip, it was a pretty reasonable ride. Passing through the Serengeti gates, I got to see my first zebra and wildebeest. It was from afar on a moving bus, but it was still pretty cool to see.
We got to Bunda and met with the owner of the campsite and piled into the back of his pickup truck. A sidenote about this truck. The back was covered, so some of us were huddled in the back just holding on as we drove 25 minutes straight up to the summit of the rockiest "hill" (ie mountain) I've ever seen. Safe to say our behinds were a bit sore, but at least we didn't have to walk.
So when I think about camping and a campsite, I think about a fire pit, a couple tents, singing songs and using a hole in the ground as a toilet. I have to thank Sophie for setting us up, and easing me into, camping in Tanzania.
If you know me, imagine everything I would want or ask for if I was to go camping:
Warm water: check.
Round the clock electricity: check.
A toilet and shower: check. And all in the tent: double check.
A wood framed bed with mattress, pillow, and nice linen: check.
Lunch, dinner and breakfast provided: check.
Good people: check.
The comforts of home up and behind God's shoulder blades: priceless.
There are two things wrong with what I just listed. I don't even have round the clock electricity, nor do I have warm water where I'm living in Mwanza. But on the top of a hill (mountain) I could have a warm shower in my tent while I was camping. I couldn't even make this stuff up.
We still played card games, went on exploring and rock climbing adventures, played charades by the camp fire, drank wine (not me - I drank beer and pop. My Mountain Dew adventures are for another post), had spaghetti and tea (with milk) for breakfast and fish heads and fish fingers for lunch and dinner, and some of us (not me, thank you very much) ran into witch doctors in the middle of the night. I'd say it was a standard camping trip.
I would have to say that the bar has been set pretty high for my next camping trip. If that is what you call "roughing it", then I wonder what rent is like on a tent on a hill (mountain) in Tanzania?