2009 May 23 Enter Rwanda leave Uganda
2009 May 23 Enter Rwanda Leave Uganda
I traveled from Kabale, Uganda to Byumba, Rwanda today. The Visa to enter Rwanda was free, however, they only gave me 15 days, this means I am already heading towards the country of Burundi, almost giving Rwanda a pass.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
This is where I think I am located, it is hard to say, the locals do not speak French or English well and no sign says Byumba.
I have had an interesting couple of days, last night a man by the name of Rory from Ireland came to the Hotel in Uganda, somehow he traveled from Tanzania to Kabale in one day, and is supposed to enter Rwanda today, truly at a madhouse travel speed.
If you read about Rwanda, try to figure out the prices of Hotels, talk with people, they all say, Rwanda is expensive. Rory had a paper where a friend of his wrote down some Hotel, he was paying from 30 to 50 dollars per night. Therefore, I am little worried about prices of room, I do not enjoy paying more than 10 dollars per night, just seems like a waste or money.
I took a 3000 Shilling car from Kabale, Uganda to Katuna, Uganda, the border city, discovered there is not really a city to speak of, and decided to enter Rwanda. USA citizens enter for free, however the border is complete chaos, there was a huge line of people on the Uganda, side, and of course in typical African style, they were all cutting line. I finally had enough and just walked to the front and pushed everyone out of the way. The man behind the glass said,
“Why don’t you wait in line?”
“All these people cut in front of me.”
I knew the attitude, we are supposed to obey rule, even though there are no rules.
I then walked down a long road full of semi trucks to the Rwanda side; there three Indian men getting a one day transit visa to go to the DRC Congo, so there was no line. Well, two people tried to cut in again and I pushed them out of the way also. Africa people are not as aggressive as me, there needs to be three or four of them before they get up a good aggressive note.
The Rwanda man working behind the counter says,
“Thanks for your patience.”
Hmm, this is a good sign.
I am trying to find a Hotel; I did not find one in the village of Katuna, Uganda, so now I am in the village of Gatuna, Rwanda. I keep walking; I keep thinking I will find something. I pass a couple of drinking boom boom type Hotels or they like to call them Lodges. I end up walking about two kilometer, I pass a van loading to go to Kigali, however it is empty and I want a room, I am tired of the smell of people.
I just keep walking, two kilometers later and nothing that looks like lodging of any sort, and the locals are all staring at me, however no Hellos, Fines or Bonjours, just looking and a few Musungos. (White man in the local languages.)
The van I walked by stops and picks me up, I say Kigali and he say deux mille or 2000 Rwanda money, this is just under four dollars so I am game, I will go. They put me in front in typical white-men-deserve-the-best-seat manner. A man decides to practice his English with me, he starts to tell me the Hotels in different cities, and I ask him,
“How much do they cost?”
This is about 100-200 US dollars.
“Why so expensive,”
(This man and Rory’s friend are on the same page.)
More or less he explains that it is a poor country and nobody has any money, and Uganda is a rich country. I understand the logic, but truly think it is ass backwards.
Rich country of Uganda and they have cheap rooms.
Poor country of Rwanda and the rooms are expensive.
Screw that, I am now in a room in Byumba for 2000 mille or about four US dollars; I bypassed all the cultural crap and got a room. Not much of room, however it has a mattress and the lady Yvonne is nice enough, she runs a pharmacy and has rooms in the rear here in Byumba.
This is the view from the small village of Byumba; I only had to walk about 50 meters to take this photo. The village is perched on a ridge and on both sides are wide valleys.
I thought the hoe farming was spectacular in Uganda between the city of Kabale and Kisoro. Well, from the Uganda - Rwanda border all the way to Byumba is beautiful farming done in a terrace style, this is better. The one large cash crop is Tea, however about 60 percent of this area has food crops. As normal, I am in one of the most beautiful areas of Uganda or Rwanda, with farming being done on a mass scale and what did I find at the border. The World Food Program.
My first impression of the country is beautiful terraced farming for as far as I can see, green, green and more green.
Every person I have met had doubled the price.
Van wanted 2000 mille, I paid 500
Room wanted 5000, I paid 2000
Water - they asked 1000 and I paid 500
I start to point a camera at anything and people start saying,
2009 May 23 Enter Rwanda Leave Uganda