I had always dreamed about going to Moroto, but never in this fashion. In case you are wondering, Moroto is a magical place situated at the North Eastern border of Uganda. And for some of us who had never traveled there before, our minds had been filled with myths of how dangerous the place is. There were stories of rampant deaths I had heard about since childhood.
Enter an opportunity to go there? First let me say that I LOVE travel. I love it most when I’m alone because danger and the unknown excite me! Yes, I know that sounds beguiling, and crazy, but isn’t it living when you dare yourself to do things people imagine to be risks? So here I was seated in the bus en route to Moroto , or so I thought. I mean I though that I could trust the man who shoved me hastily into a bus headed for Mbale claiming he would link us to one bound to Moroto. How wrong I was. But I was late already. You don’t set off for Moroto at 10:30am, you’ll arrive too late for any buses heading there.
The journey to Mbale wasn’t something to write home about. I had been on that same route one time to many. Perhaps my mind was already playing out the scene in my head of a place I was longing to step foot on. We reached Mbale in good time, after a six-hour journey. I was hoping we would hope on another bus straight away, but damn Ugandans and time! And damn me for not trusting my instincts! The man who had claimed to link those traveling to Soroti or Moroto was no where in sight. So about thirty of us were stranded in Mbale bus park, not sure how in hell we were getting to our destination. Wish I could remember the name of that bus company. (Scratches head) Oh well.
Enter Teso Coach. Thank God! And then the scramble began. The Teso bus was apparently booked out, and yet fifty other folks were shoving their way in. Why shouldn’t they when we had paid up the full fees to Soroti? (USD 9.6) The part that annoyed me the most was standing. We had to stand for most part of the journey. My legs were hurting terribly. Finally, at Awoja just after Kumi I sat down, exhausted!
“Hi, how long do you think it will take to reach Soroti?” I asked a jovial man.
“We might arrive around 7:00pm”
“Oh. any buses leaving for Moroto then?”
“Ha! You will have to wait for the next day.” What? No! He interrupted my thoughts. “Why did you get on this bus anyway? You should have gotten onto Gateway from Mbale, that one goes direct to Moroto. In fact they may be arriving there around the same time we arrive in Soroti” Foolish me! Of course it was obvious, wasn’t it? I curse but there is nothing for it. the man convinces me to spend the night at Soroti. I want to have a choice. I want to believe I will arrive on time, otherwise I shall be late for that interview! Damn! I looked into Lake Bisina wishing it would swallow up my worries.
We alight off the bus, and then the kind flirt that he is shows me around different motels, because that is what I can afford at the time. I had not planned for it. I suppose looking back then I must have been grateful for his help. Talk about angels walking the earth! At last at around 9:00pm, I found a nice neat room at one of the Church’s rented out facilities for only USD 3.8 per night. It was safe, with clean water, dry sheets, drinks and a bed. A BED. I needed that. I thanked William Moi for his kindness and then went to clean myself in the shower before climbing into bed to a dream about the day before with my beau. Tomorrow was a day that would begin at 5:00am. Let me sleep now.