With only a few days left in the Congo before I fly back to the UK it's time to start my long journey home. Because there are no international flights to and from eastern Congo I need to make my way back to Uganda, via Rwanda, so I can fly back to London.
Today we took the boat from Bukavu to Goma which was not as much fun on the return journey. Because we had to travel back in the afternoon when strong winds blow across the lake causing big waves, the small boat rocked from side to side the entire 3 hour journey. At one point we pitched so far to the side that the captain insisted that everyone put their lifejackets on as a similar boat had capsized yesterday and a few people drowned. Normally quite a confident traveller with the attitude that whilst the worst can always happen, in all likelihood it probably won't, I did start to feel a mild panic creep over my body at which point I put all my money and passport in my special travel wallet which I strapped to my chest and began calculating which of the 2 shores of the lake were closest if I needed to attempt a long distance swim in an emergency! Luckily an hour or so later we arrived safely in Goma although my legs still feel like they are on a very wobbly boat in the middle of Lake Kivu!
The next stage of my long journey home is to drive from Goma in DRC across the border into Rwanda and through the hills for a few hours until I reach the capital Kigali. I will stay here overnight before taking a bus for about 10 hours from Kigali to Kampala in Uganda. Once I finally make it to Kampala I need to take a taxi to Entebbe where I will stay for a day or two depending on when I arrive before I fly back to London. I'm allowing myself plenty of time because it is Africa after all and you never know when something is going to go wrong!
The worst part about this impending 3 day trip is that after feeling pretty ropey for the last week which I thought was jut a stomach bug, this morning I woke up with a fever and was really sick so I went to the SOS clinic in Bukavu where they took some blood and told me I have Typhoid fever. No wonder I'd been feeling so ill! I've been prescribed some strong medication which I'm hoping will knock it on the head in the next day or two before the long bus journey to Kampala and the flight home.
It's a sad end to the trip as I was hoping to re-visit some of the orphanages in Goma before I left but I feel too ill to do that so I'm giving the last few supplies I have to the team here and they can deliver them for me while I get some rest and try to feel better before leaving on Friday.
I just hope the rest of the return journey is less eventful than today's boat journey! :-)