The thirty hour bus ride from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Uganda is not for the fainthearted. The long haul bus which changes over in Nairobi is filled with energy as travelers navigate their way through East Africa; this constant buzz a great distraction from the tight squeeze my 1.8 meter frame had to squeeze into with very little legroom. I finally arrived in Kampala, exhausted, in need of a shower and a long overdue leg stretch. I was warmed by my welcome at Explorers hub. A big broad smile and a charming sense of humor waiting for me at the front-of-house helped resign all anxiety and stress to feel right at home.
My travels through East Africa are incomplete without a cold bottle of local beer in good company. Over the last five countries I hadn’t had a beer with a cold sweat on the bottle and this place gave me my most chilled beer on the trip.I was happy to be sharing it with my host, Roland. Roland is a tech entrepreneur in Kampala as well as a Global Shaper – passionate about Africa.
(Roland & I: Kampala, Uganda)
I suspect Explorers Hub had a full itinerary of my arrival. The second I walked into my room I found the ceiling fan was on, cooling the area and instantly soothing the wounds of my brutal journey – it was a liberating moment to just swing my backpack off my shoulders and embrace it. The room had high volume ceilings, outdoor veranda and was very welcoming.
A shower and huddling up to fresh sheets was the order of the day. I passed out after channel 1588, yes, their bouquet boasts over 1000 channels. I wish I had the energy to peruse & enjoy the offerings, but the journey had finally taken its toll.
I was spoiled for choice at breakfast; something I’ve not been privy to over the last couple of weeks living out of a backpack. I have often had to grab quick on the go meals and usually skip breakfast in some of my previous destinations
The sight of beautifully laid fresh fruit decorated the patio area. Sweet melons, zesty citrus and cool pineapples filled my senses with great delight. Who wouldn’t want to start off a hot summer’s day with freshly cut cool fruit? I followed this up with a Spanish omelette accompanied by baked beans, toast and a beef sausage. This breakfast was tailored from the previous night’s ordering list. The meal was wholesome and filling, and completed by freshly squeezed watermelon juice made for a great start to the day.
What caught my attention was the eclectic masks, tapestries, exotic coffee tables and a charming use of antique rugs and art pieces to add character to the space. It makes for a fascinating tour for the wondering & inquisitive eye. The place has the ambiance of African, Bohemian and East influences. Every item cleverly used makes for an appetizing visual feast.
I left Explorers hub a day later than expected. It was a brief visit but after getting my bus ticket terribly wrong I had an additional nine hour wait. Unlike most digs that make for an excruciating wait in the lobby, the hostesses at Explorer’s extended my room duration bit longer so I could be comfortable. Couple this with a sweating NILE beer and I didn’t mind the wait, it made for a pleasant delay.
Tradition says that rain is a blessing; and sitting on the veranda, beer in hand listening to the gentle whisper of rain on the surrounding trees made for an intimate time to reflect. I had officially been on the road for a month, I couldn’t help but wonder what the next four months ahead had in store.
(Local Beer: Explorers Hub , kampala UGA)