We only visit Rwanda briefly. We recovered our bad stomachs, laid around the swimingpool and hung out with some friends for a couple of days. We then cycle straight on to the border of Tanzania.
26 jan We drag ourselfs from the nice poolside hostel in Kigali. We had a good recovery time.
And in this picture we love the bread, which is not all white and sweet. We also spent time with both our bicyclist friends Crazy Canadian John who has tried to get himself in to Kongo Dr for quite some time and also our lovely midwife Luise.
We all met in Kampala over Christmas. One thing we spent our time on was getting the bicycles in order. Kigali may well be our best chance to prepare ourselfs before less developed countries ahead. So we got in contact with this american guy who is a real pro on fixing bicycles. He is also helping the professional racing team Rwanda. So we got a lesson in how to custom make spokes.
He also had an explanation to our mystery of loosing spokes. We simply had not tighten them after they were factory delivered. So that probably causes vibration and stress and with a bumpy road they then brake. So we got both backweels in order and payed the juicy bill of 1200 USD!! In Africa that is 4 monthly sallaries. But it will be worth it if it now is ok.We left our friends with hugs and tears. And roled to the embassy of Burundi to try our luck for a fast visa and a shortcut through a country which has less good reputation. But we entered and in the big embassy after passing the gate and guard. Christian waits outside. I call hallo when entering the hall, no answer. No one on the first floor in the big house and hardly no furniture. No one on the second floor? Hallo? Then a cleaning lady comes from the first floor and returns the hallo. We shake hands and explain we need a visa fast, to cycle through their country. She tells me it takes a week. She explains it a couple of times and shows me into another big room without furniture. There is a wrinkled poster plastic map showing the country of issue on the wall and she shows me where the question needs to be comunicated to for an answer, so the comunication will go to the capital and then it takes more time then we have. So without luck but maybe for the best we leave the embassy of Burundi and we leave Kigali. Our impression of Rwandas capital Kigali is a modern and clean city.
The city has a great variety of world food and roads are great tarmac but that goes for all major car roads in Rwanda. There are streetlights and it is known to be safe even at night. You probably know Rwanda from the geniside in 1994. That conflict goes way back and may still be there unforgotten. But hopefully the killings were done for the last time. Anyway the country has done a great recovery and is very developed for East Africa.
So we role out and there are long stretched uphills and long streched downhills. The roads are great. It is very close between the houses and sometimes it is difficult to find somewhere to take a leak against a tree. And we try not too, but we frankly do get annoyed by the many children running after us. It may seem strange to you back home, but it is tiresome to be a white monkey on a bicycle. Picture it, as soon as you enter a town everybody starts shouting "White man" and laughs and often wants money. Its ok for the first weeks but after two month...
We cycle through the beautiful landscape it looks pretty.
Even in the countryside the roads and sides are sweapt clean. Along many parts there are beautiful trees with yellow flowers shadowing the roads. We do some 60 km even if we had a late start. We find a guesthouse around 18 and its nice. The food is great but it costs a lot or actually just over 10 USD for the two of us. We pay another 10 USD for our twin room.
Next day we have our goal set. We want to cross over to Tanzania. So we ride good. It starts raining with loud roaring thunder and bright flaches.
It is a different day and the rain is a nice change. Not so much for Christian who has a bad rainjacket.
At lunch time it clears up and we have a great meal, the usual but with a twist. There is cabbage also, adding to the usual rice, beans, matoke and greens (kind of spinage). We go on and on and reach the border and decide to go another 20 km to the next coming village. It is some tough uphills we have to walk up. And we reach after dark.
This is our last glance at the hills of Rwanda.