Uganda Travel Stories, Page 3

HoboTraveler.com Recession of 2009

HoboTraveler.com Recession of 2009
HoboTraveler.com website is in a recession, there has been two quarters of receding growth on the whole site. I would guesstimate it is a 30-40 percent reduction in traffic and income.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons, and I would be hesitant to blame it on the economy of the world.

---------------------------------
Kisoro, Uganda
East Africa
Thursday, May 14, 2009

---------------------------------



Ever since Google.com went public, there has been a general trend for their algorithm to benefit the larger companies that buy clicks and the organic searches are suffering. It appears to be more about Brand and less about good SEO structure, while small Mom and Pop sites of less than 20,000 pages should fare well; however site larger than this seem to need stronger branding or offline presence, they need to seek paper…

While the general traffic has gone done, the Travel Journal Traffic has doubled since the removal of the RSS feed. Plus, leaving both the Blogger.com and Wordpress systems and creating our own proprietary system has also helped traffic.

We will proceed to Brand the Travel Journal and leverage this to create and offline presence in the paper media.

HoboTraveler.com was named as one of the top Ten Travel Blogs in the world by National Geographic a couple of months ago. This is online, I am not sure why, however there are few list of this that reach magazine or newspapers.

I have taken a stronger lead in management of HoboTraveler.com and HoboHideOut.com. Having presently went to a system of giving Boy Genius from India daily priority task. This I believe will turn around the traffic as I can focus him on jobs that create higher traffic. Techs left to their own tend to focus on challenging projects, that are too complicated and not clearly for marketing and SEO purposes. Generally bogging down in layers of ineffective confusion whereby there is no measurable progress. I feel that we need to make easily defined changes to the sites that can be completed in components that take no more than two days.

If you have noticed, I am generally adding at least one photo or graphic to each post, generally making the travel journal more like articles and less like a diary. I have completed given up on the idea that the travel journal is my personal diary. I have a goal of 40,000 daily readers.

COST REDUCTION

Airfare:
For the next couple of years, I will try to limit my long haul airplane flights to about two times per year and discontinue the short flights when possible.

Room Cost:
The Verizon BlackBerry Storm has been a great money saver because I now can live in cheaper hotels and can avoid the expensive larger cities. In the past I needed to find Hotels with WIFI in the rooms so I could update pages, this doubles the prices of room, the Global Data service has allowed me to cut the budget for rooms in half. Generally, this is achieved because there is no need to visit the large and boring cities. I have avoided Nairobi, Kenya, and Kampala, Uganda, and plan on skipping Kigali, Rwanda, just a few days in larger metropolitan areas will double the budget, with no true cultural or tourist benefits.

I can again cut the room cost in half if I decide needed by choosing rooms with shared showers if needed.

If you read closely, the traffic on the Travel Journal has doubled, and I believe this will again double in the next three months, and in the next year, it will be bigger than the whole site has been for the last five years.

HoboHideOut.com has 1000 Hotels on it, and when it reaches 15,000 Hotel, the critical mass needed for rapid expansion will be achieved. There is a need of at least 15,000 Hotels to be of functional value to user looking for Hotels, while as of present is already of value to the Hotels.

I am receiving about one donation per month of about 30 US Dollars.
Generally, I do not expect readers to understand this or care, however for the extreme minority who wish to understand the internet business this may be valuable. I did not try to make this incredibly clear; the confusion I believe facilitates understanding more than clarity in this instance.

HoboTraveler.com Recession of 2009


Why Go to Uganda

Why Go to Uganda
If I was going to offer one reason to come to Uganda, it would be the road from Kabale, to Kisoro, after that I would say the country can be skipped without a problem. The road reminds me of the road outside of Katmandu, Nepal. The local farmer have carved out terraces with their hoes. The world here is green, the mountains climb, there is a majestic feel, and it finally feels like I left the city. This is the first time my preconceived ideas of Uganda, the idea of Gorillas, the idea of Jungle, the idea of visiting remote and wild areas seems real.

It cost 500 Dollars to go and see Gorillas, I will pass on the Gorillas, however the Pygmies are tempting and I think they are free. Hmm, that sounds bad; however, there really are Pygmy tours.

Where are the pictures, well… they packed 8 people into a car meant for 5, the transportation was a problem. I hope to take a motorcycle taxi just outside the city to take some photos tomorrow.

---------------------------------
Kisoro, Uganda
East Africa
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

---------------------------------



As best I understand today, Dian Fossey who wrote a book “Gorillas in the Mist,” is supposed to have regularly stayed in a Hotel here in Kisoro. I am still lost here in Kisoro, it is just a flat spot on land with a lot of buildings. However, I can feel the mountains here in Kisoro. I can feel the Gorillas in the Mist; however, I am not going to pay 500 Dollars to see Gorillas.

Is this the most expensive tourism on the planet?

Why Go to Uganda


Uganda Restaurant Serves Peas

Uganda Restaurant Serves Peas
I ate my first serving of peas served in a restaurant in 11 years of travel.

I am often surrounded by markets full of fresh fruits and vegetables with no way to prepare them to eat. I have been eating in Restaurants and living in Hotels for over 11 years, and one thing I have learned.
“Restaurants are not healthy.”

The problem is this, they tend to focus on the main dishes and normally skip the vegetables and fruits. I normally can get a piece of chicken and potatoes or rice with no problem.

Yes, you can eat a tomato, cucumber or onion rather easy, however to have peas, string beans, or lima beans become difficult. I personally do not like tomatoes, cucumbers and onions.

---------------------------------
Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

---------------------------------



I was able to eat a huge bowl of freshly cooked peas in the Flockline Hotel while in Kabale, Uganda. This was a treat for me, I buy cans of peas when possible and cook them, in the country of Uganda a can of peas cost 3000-4000 Shillings or about 1.50-2.00 US Dollars.

It roughly cost me 750 Shillings to eat the equivalent of 4500 Shillings of peas from a can. I gorged myself, this was a happy day for me, to find and eat a vegetable I enjoy.




This is a Uganda Buffet, the second I have seen in Uganda, a person at this Buffet would pay for only the dishes they ate. It also was in ingenious way of bypassing the problem of no electricity in the hotel, all the food trays had some type of fuel burning below.

Uganda Restaurant Serves Peas


Writing Journal from Verizon BlackBerry Storm

Writing Journal from Verizon BlackBerry Storm
Today is tuesday, the staff of the hotels hopes the city of Kabale, Uganda has electricity by thursday. My computer batteries are dead, however my 12 vollt solar pack should keep the BlackBerry Storm working indefinately.
---------------------------------
Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Tuesday May 11, 2009

---------------------------------


BllackBerry Storm touch sreen keyboard.



Normal BlackBerry with buttons.

I can type with all my fingers, it behooved me to use the computer to type post, then paste into the BlackBerry Storm. The Storm is less likely to be stolen as a traveler, because it looks like a normal phone..

If a person cannot type, they could maybe type as fast on the normal BlackBerry keyboard and would not need to carry a computer.

I have been adding hotels to HoboHideOut.com with the Storm, I could trade submissions for a free room and save money.

This post was completely done using the Verizon BlackBerry Storm on the global unlimited data connection that cost 65-75 dollars per month.

I probably need my readiing glasses.



This is my solar charger in the window of Hotel here in Kabale, Uganda. I could write and report without ever needing electricity from the grid,. I am 100 percent off the grid.

Cell tower coverage has a footprint much better than the electrical grid footprint. Plus the towers have generator backup. The spread of cell towers far outreaches the spread of electrical lines. Cell service is private and support and service is better than government ran electrical grid..

Writing Journal from Verizon BlackBerry Storm


I am from the Tribe of Indiana

I am from the Tribe of Indiana
I stayed one boring night in Mbarara, Uganda then traveled to the friendly city of Kabale. The Boda Boda Motorcycle taxi happily took me to the SkyBlue Hotel, I looked at the sign it said,
“Flockline Hotel.”

My mind drifts back to Varanasi, India where 11 hotels in the city had copied the same Hotel name to steal the business of the one recommended in the Lonely Planet.
“Did the SkyBlue truly change its name to Flockline?”

A friendly man from the Hotel comes out to carry my bags into the Hotel, I am jaded, I do not trust anyone in Uganda, this is not normal, it has to a scam, nobody is helpful and friendly in Uganda.

---------------------------------
Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Monday, May 11, 2009

---------------------------------



This is the Flockline Hotel in Kabale, Uganda.



I found the old SkyBlue sign as I went in inspect a room; I relaxed and started to trust the too friendly people in the Hotel.

I agree to rent the room by the name of “Mars,” named after the planets, even though the guidebook said to rent Uranus, all the rooms are named after Planets. Uranus is double room and did not appear to have a hot water heater; I am clueless to why the Lonely Planet gave the room a recommendation and cost 21 Shillings.

All the staff had shaken my hand, welcomed me, exchanged names and now I sat down to eat breakfast. I am talking to Sharon, and I say
“Which Tribe are you from?”
She gives me a tribal name that is impossible to pronounce, I then asked the names of the tribes from Kasese, Ishaka and Mbarara, it is obvious something is different in Kabele, these people are friendly.

NOTE: Nobody people in Uganda do not look tribal, they dress Western, this is not an obvious tribal country.


Uganda is truly an unfriendly country; there is nothing warm in friendly about this country. To enter into a city where people are friendly makes me wonder what happened. I am not saying Uganda is mean, I am saying it does not put out the welcome wagon for tourist, however I may be the only true tourist in the country, I have not met or talked to a tourist since I entered the country. I met two Missionaries in Kasese, saw some fat white girls with handsome black boyfriends in Fort Portal, and there was three Chinese business guys in Kampala. However, I cannot say I have met one confirmed tourist in Uganda I think everyone was here on a “Mission…”

Nonetheless, the Flockline Hotel here in Kabale has rented me great room for 15 Shillings, it has amazing service and I am delighted.

Get this, there was no electricity in the city, therefore the electric hot water heater was not working. The cleaning girl by the name of Justin comes to my room,
“Would you like some Hot Water for a bath?”

This has to be a different tribe, a different state, a different culture, there is no way this is Uganda, and the people are naturally friendly.

Sharon asked
“Which Tribe are you from?”

I said,
“I am from the Tribe of Indiana, from the country of the USA.”
I say,
“I am sure the tribe of Indiana is friendlier than the tribe of New York.”

I have smiled this much in weeks, I am happy I am from the tribe of Indiana; I am a grateful boy from Indiana in the country of Uganda.
“Life is Good.”

I am from the Tribe of Indiana


Worried about Kenya and Uganda Water

Worried About Kenya and Uganda Water
I am worried about the public water supply companies in Kenya and Uganda, there seems to a serious problem. The first time I noticed this was in Nanyuki, Kenya I thought the Hotel was being clever and avoiding paying for city water by pumping water from the river. I now realize this is normal in Kenya and Uganda, not the abnormal.

---------------------------------
Mbarara, Uganda
East Africa
Sunday, May 10, 2009

---------------------------------



This is water drawn from the tap in the Park House Hotel in Ishaka, Uganda. I allowed it to settle for a three days and this is how it now looks.



This is the settled debris or pollutants, I am sorry, it just seems negligent when the clarity of the water can be great improved by allowing the water to sit for three days.



As best I can understand the locals walk down to this strange horizontal running well and collect containers of water, take back to their homes and boil.



Ishaka, Uganda is small, I would guess maybe 3000 people, and this is a view of the countryside around the village.

I may be missing something, however it appears to me the city official of Ishaka do nothing to help with water clarity. Many locals say the add chlorine, there just seems to be a major problem and easily fixed, I cannot detect or smell chlorine.

How would you like to pay for water and get this, maybe they are just happy to take a shower?

Kenya and Uganda are the only countries in the 83 countries that have this problem, I believe Ethiopia was fine.

Worried About Kenya and Uganda Water


Free Condoms for NGO

Free Condoms for NGO
NGO means:
Non Governmental Organizations, these are organizations like World Vision who drive around in the large Toyota Land Cruisers in Africa and hang out at expensive hotels drinking beer and buying women.

---------------------------------
Ishaka, Uganda
East Africa
Saturday, May 9, 2009

---------------------------------



Free Condoms offered in the Siaya, Centre Hotel in Siaya, Kenya.



Free Condoms in Nakayima Hotel in Mubende, Uganda.

THIS IS GREAT
And really stupid and sad at the same time, I applaud both Kenya and Uganda for have a couple of Hotels with free condoms. However, I denigrate their Hotel choices; in both instances where I encountered them I was in one of the nicest Hotels in the village.

I was in the Siaya Centre in Siaya, when I moved to the Sussy they did not offer them. I was in the Nakayima in Mubende, when I visited the Village Inn, there were none.

I title this free Condom’s for NGO, I believe the Non Governmental Organizations that probably placed these free condoms out, chose the most expensive hotels where they stay. Not the cheaper Hotels where they are really needed by the poorer people, they made sure they had a steady supply.

Sadder yet, both of these boxes were overflowing with Condoms, think about it, if these boxes were in the USA, they would be empty in minutes; everyone would be grabbing a couple of handfuls.

It is not difficult to understand why AIDS is higher in Africa; the locals truly know about Condoms, this Banana Myth is crap, there is a refusal to be safe. I suppose the same as refusing to wear a seat belt.

Note, the Condoms were made in the USA.

Free Condoms for NGO


Handicapped Travel in Uganda

Handicapped Travel in Uganda
Three days ago when I arrived in Ishaka, Uganda I twisted my knee badly as I was walking down the road. This accident allows me the opportunity to empathize with handicapped people.



---------------------------------
Ishaka, Uganda
East Africa
Saturday, May 9, 2009

---------------------------------

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being very friendly, Uganda people are a 3, this coupled with the fact that many Africans countries have the primitive trait of mockery makes life difficult.



I walk down the road limping and the Ugandan people make fun of me. Mockery and Macho behavior is common in countries with “Low Human Development.” countries. I sometimes read about loving family and support inside the nuclear families of primitive cultures, this is crap, the opposite is true. The HDI is interesting, it tends to earmark abuse against women with a focus on “Human,” not “Economic” development.
“Hmm, I am in Uganda, they treat me primitive, what should I expect?”
Hehehe, this is one reason I am here.

HDI - Human Development PDF file from United Nations
(I put on my servers because these dingalings will change links.)

It is difficult to carry the 70 Kilos or 100 plus pounds of Backpacks with a twisted knee. I plan on leaving Ishaka and going to Kabale, Uganda tomorrow. I will need to choose a Hotel from the Lonely Planet guidebook and live with that choice; the option to walk around looking for better Hotels is removed, and will double my travel budget.

Tomorrow morning I will need to carry my two backpacks about 50 Meters from the Hotel to the van loading area, I am lucky the Park House Hotel here in Ishaka is right in front of the Hotel.



Motorcycle Taxis and Bicycle Taxis, the bikes are used to haul bananas here in Ishaka, Uganda.

There are few car taxis in Uganda, instead they have Motorcycle Taxis, this become both dangerous and a problem, however cheaper than car taxis. Ethiopia was a pleasure because they had the Bajaj or Tuk Tuk three wheel motorcycle taxis; this made travel in Ethiopia easier.

I have visited Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda now in East Africa, and for sure Ethiopia had the best transportation systems.

Handicapped Travel in Uganda