Distance: 139km (Cumulative: 17 816km)
Moving time: 3:57
Average speed: 35km/h
Road surface: 98% Tar
We got woken by splashing fluid close to our car. We again had visions of people dousing us in fuel and setting us alight. Caro looked out the window and saw that someone was washing the other vehicles at 05:00 in the morning. She tried to tell him to stop, but he kept washing cars for hours. The irregular sound of plastic scraping over the cement and water splashing is even worse than any music or loud talking, with the latter one can at-least fall asleep when it becomes monotonous.
Later in the morning vehicles started leaving, but they would first idle the car for up to 30 minutes. We weren’t very happy, to say the least. We had breakfast with Konrad for the last time as he decided to take the water taxi to Gisenyi and try to go to the DRC to do Gorilla Trekking there.
We decided to go to Bethanie Hotel as we would at least have some WiFi there even if it is more expensive. We left Home Saint Jean at 12:22 at first drove around on the peninsula before going to Bethanie. At the hotel, Caro went to the reception to ask about camping, but no-one seemed enthusiastic about helping her. The staff even ‘fought’ with each other about who should walk all the way down to show where it is. Finally, Hugo could drive around on the narrow single track to where the road basically goes into a seating area. There isn’t really any campsite to speak of and we would have to walk to reception to get a key everytime we wanted to use a bathroom and then return the key again immediately afterward.
Caro burst into tears and just sat crying for a while as she couldn’t take the lack of hospitality that we so frequently experienced anymore. She felt like no-one in Africa actually wants you to spend your money on them and that you are just a burden.
Hugo thus puts Caro in the car and drove off again. We almost couldn’t leave as about 40 cars arrived with police and military delegates. It seemed that they were there for a conference and the buffet was going to be served right in front of our potential camping site. So perhaps we would really have been a burden to them. The delegates likely would not have been too impressed with seeing two muzungus camping it out next to their buffet lunch. None of this was however communicated to us, we just weren’t really welcomed. We also met other backpackers who turned around after not feeling welcome the previous day.
We stopped in Kibuye to buy cheese and other snacks. Caro thought we are just going back to Home Saint Jean, but Hugo had other plans and drove all the way back to Kigali.
The RN7 from Kibuye to Muhanga (former Gitarama) was the first tar road that didn’t feel brand new and that had some patched potholes. In Kigali, we followed T4A to see if we can find the old Discover Rwanda backpackers where Slowdonkey stayed, but there were just a parking lot and some new office buildings. The roads on T4A around the convention center were also severely outdated and we almost had some difficulty in finding our way back to the new location of the backpackers. The new location is on Open Street Maps and Google Maps so it is not difficult to find.
We set up camp in the parking lot again at 17:00 and then went to the Trattoria restaurant which we saw was full of people the night we went to the Ethiopian restaurant. This time, however, we were basically the only people for most of the time.
We ordered a pizza which was so good that we decided to order another one with the intention of taking it as a doggy bag for lunch tomorrow. It felt like the day turned out OK. Meanwhile, the day had other plans for us. At Discover Rwanda, a massive overland truck had arrived full of young people who completely covered the three level spaces with their safari tents.
We instantly knew another sleepless night lay ahead. Young girls were talking (or basically screaming) in high pitched voices until way passed midnight each trying harder to be heard then the one next to them.