We awoke to the sounds of Muslims being called to prayer and gathered our by now rather tatty looking belongings and staggered into the morning. Graham almost ran across the lawn (well that’s being kind) as to his utter delight there was someone cleaning his car. I thought he was going to kiss the poor fellow. The next hour was spent unpacking and cleaning this wonder of a car as we felt Jezebel (named after Ted Riley’s famous Landy) needed some TLC and pampering after what we had put her through. She gleamed and there was order inside again….it was so churned up inside we had to literally untie knots. Ross of course thinks it sheer sacrilege to wash a car on an overland trip.
We headed off refreshed and with trepidation hit the roads. The first bit of tar for about 30kms is good and we feel like singing but that changed when we turned onto what is the main route from Tanzania to Rwanda. Much of the same and we again felt like bucking Broncos, wildly lurching all over the place and dodging trucks also weaving to avoid the Nkandla Fire Pool sized craters in the road. We eventually get to the border post and are waved down a road which takes us down to a dodgy ferry! We are shocked, how the the hell do they take the trucks across on that! Anyway clearly not the correct place so back up the hill we go to the official post. We say goodbye to Tanzania for now and are praying for better roads when we return a bit later on in our trip.
We pass these monsters!
The Rwandan buildings are new and pretty jacked, we wait our turn in the immigration queue and we finally get to the front. Graham hands the official our passports and he looks at them and then asks where our visas are. Graham proceeds to tell him, “no it’s okay we don’t need any” the official looks at Graham like he has lost his marbles…Graham insists that they are not necessary because the AA told us. After we coerce Graham away from his discussion it is now clear that the AA’s information is two years out of date. Off to another queue to get the visa, another one to pay for the visa then finally back to immigration. Luckily for us Graham’s buddy must have been on a coffee break. No problem and we are soon on our way.
It is immediately apparent that we were out of Tanzania, firstly we had to change to driving on the right! Oh my goodness that takes a little getting used to and now it is up to me to see what traffic is ahead. However the roads are beautiful and I could just lie down and kiss the the smooth tar. The countryside is stunning with hundreds of hills all around us covered in banana trees. The men toil up and down these hills carrying huge bunches of bananas and wood, they would definitely be contenders in the Tour de France! It is difficult to find a spot for Kath and I to have a wee as the roads team with people everywhere.
The road winds and curves over the many hills and the valleys turn into green belts of rice paddies. The farming is intensive and I am sure not too many go hungry in this beautiful landscape. The day is warm and the air is still…we pull into a market and stock up on watermelons, tomatoes and avos the size of rugby balls. I love this place already. We roll into Kigali, the city built on a thousand hills and head for a campsite we were told about by the “Disastrous Direction Dutch &@€¥” Vincent only to find it no longer there. Where we surprised? Not really! The Hillview Apartment Hotel it was to be and what a pleasure it turned out to be. We were ably met by Abel, who seriously could not do enough for us. Our cars would not have fitted in the underground parking so they sit very grandly at the front entrance blocking the entire place with their very own guard.
Dinner was a great meal at a nearby hotel and Abel kindly drove us there and fetched us….how is that for service? Tomorrow looms a bit as we will visit the Genocide Memorial before we do anything else. We gave the best shower we have had in weeks and sleep well.