Day 50 - Stage 35 - Lake Bunyonyi to Kigali (116 km)

Friday, 3 March: Today we crossed from Southern Uganda into Rwanda, our 5th African country, but not before we had to cycle out from Lake Bunyonyi over the hill and down and back into Kabale Town. In Rwanda we will have to cycle on the right hand side of the road again.

Being a rest day yesterday, Riders Briefing is held prior to an early breakfast. Its going to be a long day, with a Border crossing included.

We leave Lake Bunyonyi and immediately have our first dirt road ascent, quite a mean climb up the hill, followed by a fast descent to the tar road. Cycle back into Kabale Town, then turn onto the main road to the Border. Cycle most of the way in heavy mist (advantageous since you can't see the hills waiting for you).

We arrive at the Ugandan/Rwandan Border, clear Uganda without any hassles, in Rwanda we are not so lucky. We have to hand your passport in, then you get an invoice, which you take to the Bank of Kigali where you pay USD$30 for a visa, get a receipt which you then take back to the original window and wait for your passport to be stamped with an entry visa and entry stamp.

It takes at least two hours for Judith and I to enter Rwanda, we arrived at the Border within the first half of riders, but left last, which is not advantageous when you are a relatively slow rider and need to get to the lunch truck as soon as possible and it's about 30km away from the Border.

The ride to the lunch truck was very picturesque and we were accompanied by many of the local taxi/transport cyclists. Cycling is big in Rwanda. My new rear wheel behaved itself up to the Border, however on the way to the lunch truck it developed an irritating wobble and associated noise. Helen the Sweep Rider said it sounded like a steam engine!

We reach the lunch truck last and are just in time to witness two local lads grab a couple of loaves of bread, while Wynand was being distracted by the crowd. They run off with it down the hill, much to the delight of the local spectators. Rwanda is definitely different to Uganda.

Judith is not feeling well, and she decides to take the lunch truck, I join her. My replacement rear wheel is not behaving itself, and we are running late. 

We are the only passengers on the truck, all the other non-riders have taken the Main Truck into Kigali. We both fall asleep almost immediately, they do stop and wake us up to see a waterfall en route, but we soon go back to sleep, and only wake up at our destination, Discover Rwanda Backpackers. Definitely not the triumphant entry into Kigali we had planned, and a big self-induced disappointment from our side.

We fetch and move our bags to our allocated room (we have kindly been given a double room) and we join the majority of the riders for beers on the Terrace. Another Country, another set of different beers to be tasted, if I want to keep my EFB Status

We will be staying at the Backpackers for the next three nights, this will enable a lot of the riders the opportunity to see the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. We have previously seen the Gorillas, so we will not be taking up this opportunity.

We make sure to switch our watches back by one hour (back to RSA time). 

Mike T
Liz enjoying the picturesque Rwandan countryside 

Briefing Meeting - Lake Bunyonyi to Kigali
Paul and Judith cycling out from the Lake

View of Lake Bunyonyi from the top of the Hill

Cycling down on the dirt road  to get to Kabale Town

Artisnal mining for aggregate alongside the road in Southern Uganda
Clearing the Ugandan Immigration Office

Waiting on the Rwandan side of the Border
Hurry up, and wait.... to get into Rwanda
Rwanda home to Primus Beer

Typical Rwandan countryside
Rwandan cyclists taking advantage of the trucks to tow them up the hills

Locals at the lunch truck taking photos of the Muzungus

Rwandan Waterfall en route to Kigali

Erin very happy about the size of the beers in Rwanda
Unloading the riders bags at the Backpackers Lodge


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