The Land of a Thousand Hills

So, after sitting on a still bus for about 2 hours and then riding from Gulu to Kampala in 5 and then sitting at the Jaguar bus station for 4, I made my way to Kigali!  I signed up for the 1am bus and there was also a 3am bus, and I ended up leaving at 2 so I don’t know if mine was late or if it didn’t exist and I took the 3 early?  Whatever.

The bus rolled out of Kampala and I fell asleep soon after.  I woke up around 4.30 in the morning to a really cold wind.  Apparently my window had a chunk missing from it, and wind was whipping in at me.  After freezing for a while, I grabbed both of my bags and my second shirt and tried to keep myself as warm as possible.  Starting then I had a very on-and-off sleep schedule until we got to the border.

The border crossing went like this: everyone got off and went to check out of Uganda. Then everyone walked a ways to the Rwandan immigration office to get stamped. The bus arrived after getting checked, then unloaded everything to get inspected. Then we all got back on, bus reloaded, and we were on our way.  I continued to sleep on-and-off, until I realized that the bus had broken down. We were at some obscure intersection in northern Rwanda for at least an hour I think, and then suddenly we started moving without any announcement so I don’t know.  When we finally arrived at the bus park one of the staff apologized to me for it being late.

From there I embarked on a trip oddly reminiscent of that Monday in Kampala.  Apparently, even the main branch of the Banque de Kigali doesn’t take traveler’s checks.  I was hoping to finish mine off on this trip, so I didn’t bring as much cash as I had planned on having.  In the end I withdrew some from my debit card which was kinda lame, but now I have some Rwandan franks to run around with for a couple of days.  Rounded out the evening getting a bite to eat and some internet from Bourbon’s Coffee Shop at the Union Trade Center.  From there I booked a room at the Auberge le Caverne, a hotel tucked away on a major road.  The room’s okay – has good points (two beds and a table, with a 3-channel TV, and breakfast is included!) and some bad (smelly bathroom and some more bugs than I’d like).

Tomorrow I’m going to do as much as I can and then I’m trying to decide if I’ll hurry back to Uganda then or spend another night in town here.  The to-do list isn’t that long, but I really want to see the genocide memorial in Kigali and maybe try to see the ones in Nyamata or Natarama.  Other than that there are some little things to do but I’m not sure if it’s enough to warrant another day or not, plus I don’t know when the buses leave for Kabale or Kisoro.  Things to look into, for sure!


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