9:04pm Rwanda time

Today was another day of travel, though we did have a couple of stops in between. We left the hotel to go to the Nyungwe Top View Lodge. If just driving I think it was supposed to take about 7-8 hours, but it actually took about 10.5-11 hours.

We stopped at the King’s Museum on the way to see the dwellings the King used to live in, back in the day when Rwanda had a king. I also saw a few of their traditional cows which have really impressive horns. Because they charged to take photos on your own camera, a few of us chipped in and we used Heather’s camera to take photos.

The next stop was at a hotel/pub for lunch which wasn’t too bad but I think we stayed a bit too long because we had to rush through the next stop which was an art history museum that was interesting.

A few of us had issues trying to pay for souvenirs though. They claimed not to take USD and so Sue was going to put our purchases on her credit card, but the EFTPOS machine kept failing to connect. Anyway there was a big hullaballoo about it and we did end up paying in cash with USD. It was very frustrating because we were running so late.

Anyway, we got back on the road again for about another 2.5 hours. The thing is all of the roads are hills roads. So you’re going round corners, going up and down the whole time. I don’t normally feel queasy when doing hills drives, but that was just insane. I also saw two crashes along the way. Because most of Rwanda is hills, of course all the semi-trailers have to drive those roads, they have no choice. So one was a truck rolled over, and the other, perhaps lost brakes, jackknifed and went off the side of the hill.

Finally we arrived at the hotel and as the name suggests, it’s on top of a hill and each lodge has a view of the forest. The hotel looked quite nice when you walked into reception. It was nicely up to date. My lodge however, not so much. It’s very old and outdated. Looks kind of clean. But there are bugs. So far a black spider of some sort, a moth and maybe a fly buzzing around.

There is a mosquito net around the bed, I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or makes me wonder just how many bugs there will be while I’m sleeping. In addition to the net though I also gave myself a good spray of diet so you know, I’ve probably poisoned myself! But I find it odd that I’m staying in a building and am more concerned about using bug spray in here than I was when I was in the tent.

I’m so far not really feeling the charm of Rwanda yet. In Tanzania, what I saw was just like a shanty town in open plains and bushland, and then lots of bushland. And I loved it, and loved the open spaces. Here it’s just people, and more people, and more buildings and people. So much of it is built up. And the jungle and forest is everywhere and very tall and kind of closes everything in. So I’m thinking I must be an open spaces kinda girl. And a camping kinda girl as well I suppose!

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