Friday, April 11, 2014

Flash Back Friday - Mount Elgon, Uganda 2004

After Paul and I completed our Peace Corps Service (26 months) in Uganda we traveled for about six weeks before heading back to the States. We visited Murchison Falls in Northern Uganda, climbed Mount Elgon bordering Uganda and Kenya, went on safari in Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti in Tanzania, enjoyed the tropical bliss of Zanzibar, took a train from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Lusaka, Zambia, and visited Victoria Falls.

There will never be a trip like that again. We had no commitments (other than catching our flight home), and adventurous spirit, and enough money to travel simply (at the end of service peace corps payed us about $6000, 1/3 of that we were able to take in cash in Uganda. After living on less than $200/month for over 2 years, having $2000 in our pockets made us feel like we were rich!).

This Flash Back Friday I am taking you hiking up Mount Elgon, in eastern Uganda, from April 2004 (pictures taken with a Nikon Coolpix). Mount Elgon is the oldest and largest solitary volcano (extinct) in East Africa. It straddles the border of Uganda and Kenya and is the 17th highest mountain in Africa.

 Paul's mom came to visit Uganda and join us on our trek up Mt. Elgon. We started down in the village at the base of the mountain. 

Pondering our next 4 days of hiking up the mountain, and our last 27 months of service in Uganda.

Beautiful camp sites!

The flora is really unique the higher you get. These are Giant Groundsels found only in the high altitude mountains of equitorial East Africa. 

 It's getting colder the higher we get! Note that one of our guides did not have a hat or a hood on his jacket so he wrapped a plastic bag around his head. We left our cold weather gear with him when the hike was done. 

 Almost to the summit. 

After 3 days of hiking we made it to the summit! 4321m (14,176 feet). It was another 1.5 days back down the mountain. After leaving the villages at the base of the mountain we never saw any other people, it was just us, our guides and very unique nature! It was a great hike, so glad we had the opportunity to do it!

A brightly colored critter we encountered on the hike!

For more pictures from this Flashback Friday spot, visit my Mount Elgon gallery

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