The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Our Uganda Safari – Lions, Hippos and Giraffes

Current Location: Kampala, Uganda
Current Position: 00 20.86 N 032 34.95 E Click to view map.

Here we are at the end of June, and we are only just back on board Life Part 2. So what on Earth have we been doing for the past 9 months?

After Dad’s death in September cut short our plans to cross the Atlantic last year, we hurriedly put Life Part 2 into Portimao Marina for 6 months. We had a month in England with Mum after the funeral, and then headed to Edmonton to see Ceu’s grandchildren and to check up on our rental property.

Xwu, Jonah, Allisen, Tiag and Jessica

Xwu, Jonah, Allisen, Tiago and Jessica

As it turns out, we ended up buying four more rental properties, including a nice apartment in Vernon, BC, where we stayed for 3 months while redecorating it and getting in 34 days of skiing at Silver Star. Ben also came over to join us for Christmas.

Ceu's godfather Jose, Ceu, Virgilio, Me, Ben and Moe

Ceu’s godfather Jose, Ceu, Virgilio, Me, Ben and Moe

Ben doing his classic pose at Lake Louise

Ben doing his classic pose at Lake Louise

At the winter fair we saw this crazy dog! Looks just like a mop!

At the winter fair we saw this crazy dog! Looks just like a mop!

Having bought all these properties, we then had to renovate some of them! So that took up another hectic month in Edmonton. We also received news that Allisen in Edmonton was expecting her third son, due to arrive in August.

At this point it was clear that the 6 month contract at Portimao was not going to be enough, so we extended it to 9 months. We thought about extending it to a year, to take in August, but they wanted totally stupid money to do that, so we didn’t.

The 9 months, however, gave us time to spend a couple of weeks in England with Mum again, during which we did a canal boat trip along the Oxford Canal, which was delightful. Josh joined us for his birthday weekend.

Josh and Me on the canal boat, Oxford Canal

Josh and Me on the canal boat, Oxford Canal

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After that, we took Mum to Portugal for a road trip during which she met with Ceu’s family in Casegas.

Mum enjoying the poppies in rural Portugal

Mum enjoying the poppies in rural Portugal

Mum supervising the construction of a new barbeque at Ceu's mom's house in Casegas

Mum supervising the construction of a new barbeque at Ceu’s mom’s house in Casegas

Ceu's mom and my Mum enjoying a game of Skip Bo

Ceu’s mom and my Mum enjoying a game of Skip Bo. The dish on the right is a classic Portuguese dish of stuffed pig’s stomach called borrelhão or arroz de bucho, a bit along the lines of a Scottish haggis.

 

Visiting Piódão in Portugal. The whole village is built of slate.

Visiting Piódão in Portugal. The whole village is built of slate.

That took us to the beginning of June, leaving us a few weeks still paid up at Portimao. What do do?

Well, with the boat secure in a marina, and with us still in Europe, this seemed like an excellent time to take in a trip to Uganda with my sister and her Ugandan husband. After all, who knows when we would next have such a convenient opportunity?

So, off we went – and what a blast we had!

David volunteered to do all the driving, so we took in a lap that included Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth National Parks as well as meeting up with his extensive family. The photos are below.

One of the traditional dancers at the Kempala Ndere Cultural Centre show. It was an excellent night out.

One of the traditional dancers at the Kempala Ndere Cultural Centre show. It was an excellent night out.

Elephants up close and personal in Lake Mburo park

Elephants up close and personal in Lake Mburo park

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Many, many baboons

Many, many baboons

Hippo on a mission.  We figure it had an injury which it did not want to get wet, otherwise it would be swimming in the lake rather than sweating in the midday sun. It was marching very purposefully across the savannah.

Hippo on a mission. We figure it had an injury which it did not want to get wet, otherwise it would be swimming in the lake rather than sweating in the midday sun. It was marching very purposefully across the savannah.

Two hippos on the front, and a flock of water buffalo to the rear.

Two hippos on the front, and a flock of water buffalo to the rear.

Being on the equator, the moon here lies horizontally.  This is the waxing crescent moon.

Being on the equator, the moon here lies horizontally. This is the waxing crescent moon.

There were two pairs on lions very close together, but they then separated and found their own shelters

There were two pairs on lions very close together, but they then separated and found their own shelters

This grand lion was about 10m from us. The lioness was well hidden in the bush

This grand lion was about 10m from us. The lioness was well hidden in the bush

African crocodiles sunbathing, viewed from a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth NP

African crocodiles sunbathing, viewed from a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth NP

Warthogs. Many of them, all equally funny looking.

Warthogs. Many of them, all equally funny looking.

Giraffes seen in Lake Mburo NP

Giraffes seen in Lake Mburo NP

Ceu trying to get in the picture with the warthog and the zebras

Ceu trying to get in the picture with the warthog and the zebras

Zebras and water bucks

Zebras and water bucks

The obligatory photo

The obligatory photo

A very common sight

A very common sight

Matoke (plantain) is a staple food used rather like we use potatoes

Matoke (plantain banana) is a staple food used rather like we use potatoes. On the ground are yams, which are also a starch crop.

Which of your children would think to build their own bike from wood?

Which of your children would think to build their own bike from wood?

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One of the cabins in which we stayed - Ceu, my sister Mitzi, and brother-in-law David

One of the cabins in which we stayed – Ceu, my sister Mitzi, and brother-in-law David

On of many crater lakes. Just north of Queen Elizabeth NP the land is pockmarked with numerous such craters, some with and some without lakes in them

On of many crater lakes. Just north of Queen Elizabeth NP the land is pockmarked with numerous such craters, some with and some without lakes in them

Banded mongooses, with babies, just behind one of the cabins in QE NP

Banded mongooses, with babies, just behind one of the cabins in QE NP

Me Tarzan, you Jane

Me Tarzan, you Jane

Male weaver birds build multiple nests like these. If the female likes the construction, she lays eggs, if she doesn't she rips it apart and drops it on the ground.  Luck the bird who is a skilled weaver.

Male weaver birds build multiple nests like these. If the female likes the construction, she lays eggs, if she doesn’t she rips it apart and drops it on the ground. Luck the bird who is a skilled weaver.

Blue-headed Tree Agama (Uganda) . Such a RICH blue!

Blue-headed Tree Agama (Uganda) . Such a RICH blue!

Fast food Ugandan style. Eating in restaurants, however, is far from fast, with meals often taking an hour or more to be prepared.

Fast food Ugandan style. Eating in restaurants, however, is far from fast, with meals often taking an hour or more to be prepared.

These cattle, with their enormous horns are everywhere.  Fortunately they seem to be pretty good natured.

These cattle, with their enormous horns are everywhere. Fortunately they seem to be pretty good natured.

Fresh fruit at the market.

Fresh fruit at the market.

It's not all poverty in Uganda. Here are Mitzi and David enjoying a swim in Kampala, with me on lifeguard duty,

It’s not all poverty in Uganda. Here are Mitzi and David enjoying a swim in Kampala, with me on lifeguard duty,

And now we are back on board Life Part 2 for real.

First on the agenda is to do NOTHING! What with traveling between Vernon and Edmonton, then England, the canal boat trip, the Portuguese road trip, the travels in Uganda, we are tired of living out of suitcases. Time to settle in to our home and relax. Well, apart from all the cleaning that has to be done.

After that, we will potter around the Algarve for a few weeks and get some boat projects done: replacing the seals on some of the hatches, creating a water generator from our props (again) and installing a loud hailer / fog horn that we bought in Canada.

And then it is suitcase time again: the grandson due to be born in Edmonton is the siren call for Ceu to travel again. Ah, but where to leave the boat, since it is high season in Europe.

Two options present themselves:

1) See if we can find a cheap mooring in Morocco, in which case we can both travel, or
2) I stay on the boat, and Ceu goes alone for a couple of weeks.

The former option might be fun, and puts less time pressure on us, as the key timing event is the sail from Portugal to Madeira, which has to happen before the end of September. But if we are already in Morocco, that no longer presses upon us.

Well, we shall see, and will keep you informed.

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