Moroto Things to Do
Watch a match at Old Trafford!
Not the Old trafford Stadium. Well It is actually a video hall that shows Chuck Norris films as well as footie games
They love a drink in this neck of the woods and if you walk around the market you will find its is predominantly women in town (I guess most of their men folk are out cattle rustling) so it must be the women that do most of the drinking.
There is one side of town to the east of the main market area where most of the area outside of a lot of the shacks is taken up with sorghum or millet drying in the sun. This is all part of the process of making marua. The roasting of the grains that you can see in the photos is also another part of the process. The result after a few days of drying roasting and fermenting is a thin consistency alcoholic version of what you might have seen being sold as Bushera.
There are several drinking dens in this end of town as well as the women in the market selling the stuff by the cup load for 100UGX a mug full. After being offered a small cup full in the market by one of the Karamajong women "Try it. If you like it I'll give you a cupful for free" she told me in Swahili. It was lovely and I bought a couple more cupfuls before a large crowd had gathered around me and thought I'd better move on save the market grinding to a halt as everyone was gawping at this muzungu drinking Marua.
0 Hotels in Moroto
Not a great deal of choice in Moroto town on the old restaurant front. there were always nice smells coming from the restaurant at Leslona but was cclosed to the general public when i was there as there was a conferance that seemed to take up almost the whole hotel.
The chips were nice when they were fresh from Friends Restaurant but when they were cold I think it was them that caused me an upset stomach.
Apart from that there only seemed to be beef stew, I managed to eat beans there one day before they ran out. Breakfast time there was always lots of hot tea boiled eggs, chapatti and mandazi.
Leslona Hotel Bar: Best bar in town
This was the best bar in town. After having several beers in Moroto I was desperate for something cold as up to now most of the beers I'd had were almost warm. I was told the best place to go was Mount Moroto Hotel but only found cool Tusker.
Thankfully the really helpful girl behind the bar in the Leslona pulled out one freezing cold Nile after another for me here one afternoon. In a hot dusty town like Moroto that’s just what you need. Either side of the bar is an Ekorete tree that during the day you could hear the fruit from the tree (Emongot) falling on to the kibati roof of the bar. I'd never seen a fruit quit like this a small fruit in a hard shell that was quite sharp to taste and had rather a large stone in the middle of it, whose kernel I was told can be extracted and ground into a flour and used like maize meal.
In the evening this place got well busy full of some smartly dressed blokes on a night out and it was mainly blokes. There was hardly a table spare.
Wyspa: night club
As I was standing outside my guest house on a Sunday at four in the morning a steady stream of people were staggering up the street and home from Wyspa's night club.
I was honestly surprised to find out in that in a town of Morotos size and at this end of the country such a place existed. How wrong I was I must have slept well on the previous nights as I'd never noticed the booming music until today. I was also surprised that some of the revellers I'd met in the day so stopped for a chat.
I'd only passed Wyspa in the day time and early evening when it was a lot more sedate.
The photo I've taken was early one evening with an almost full moon rising over Mount Moroto. Shame I never went for a boogie maybe next time I'm in town as Moroto is one place I'd love to go back to.
Dress Code: On the state of the people leaving the club it looks like you can wear what you want.
If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.
Journey to Moroto
There is a Gateway bus that goes directly from Kampala to Moroto. It must leave I guess at around 6 in the morning because it doesn't reach Soroti till around 11:45 in the morning as that is when I fought my way on board the overcrowded bus.
As well as the bus to Moroto, at around noon in Soroti a Gateway bus on its way to Kotido via Moroto pulls into to Soroti bus park. If you are not on either of these buses another bus company 'Nalea' has a bus that is suposed to leave Soroti at 14:00 for Moroto I guess this one also originated in Kampala.
The day I took the bus it took 5 hours to reach Moroto. Some of the scenery along the way was stunning especially as the bus passed through the hills around Nariam. In this hot dry corner of Uganda the wind was whipped up and swirls of dust would sweep across the path of the bus or through the small trading centres that we stopped at on our way to Moroto. I was thankful for the large handkerchief that I’d bought especially to wrap around my nose and mouth to keep out the dust.
At these small villages crowds of local kids would be poised to grab any discarded water bottles that were flung from the window of the bus. Impatient for a bottle to be thrown the kids were singing for them to be given to them, “lete dodo, lete dodo” they sang.
Leaving Moroto the first bus leaves at 04;00 in the morning, I was told that the Nalea bus is scheduled to leave at around 06:00.
The return journey was a ot quicker, I got all the way to Mbale bang on 6 hours, and that was with 1/2 hour wait at Soroti bus park.
Beneath the big tree in the main drag: Stools 'R' us
In the centre of the main drag in Moroto there is a large tree and underneath this tree during daytime you will see a few blokes selling wooden stools of various sizes. I always fancied one of the small stools that you see Karamojong and Turkana blokes walking around with that they use for pillows/neck rests as well as stools to sit on in the middle of the bush.
I asked the price of the stool then told the guy selling them I'd go and have some breakfast. When I came from the cafe the guy was waiting for me and immediately offered the stool to me at a lower price 2,000 UGX, a bargain I thought so I bought it. This is the one on the left in the photo.
About half an hour later a bloke approached me in the street and offered me his own well worn stool which was a slightly different shape This was a much better stool that was varnished not with conventional varnish but the Karamajong rub in mzigo (ghee) to give the stools a nice veneer and also give it added strength (this the stool on the right). We haggled and I evetually parted with 3'500 UGX for the stool. The old boy seemed more than delighted with the deal and so was I.
What to buy: The blanket that they are laid out on, I also bought in Moroto. That was bought from a stall in the small market that is in the main drag that sells all manufactured goods rather than the larger market the other side of town that specializes in fresh produce.
The blanket is Kenyan made and cost me 9,500 UGX.
Moroto market: What an experience!
Love the market and surrounding area here in Moroto. Not really for the things to buy but for the colourfulness and friendliness of the buyers and sellers in the market.
It was not only that I'm white that made me stand out in the market but I was possibly one of the few people there that wasn't wearing a blanket and didn't have a face full of tribal scars.
What to buy: The local beer that is sold in jerry cans by the cup full was tasty and a bargain.
I also bought a small amount of resin that had been collected form trees on the mountain and had solidified. It is used locally like a kind of incense and you will probably smell it being burnt as you walk around the market. A large egg sized blob of resin cost me 500UGX.
As well as fruit and veg on the market sniffing tobacco seems to sell well.
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