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Published: April 4th 2016
Today was another long drive but we were on our way to Rwanda! I quickly began singing “We’re off to see the gorillas, the wonderful gorillas of Rwanda” to the Wizard of Oz music, while the extra syllables made it a bit difficult I couldn’t stop. To say I was excited and vibrating with enthusiasm is an understatement; 15 years I'd been waiting for this experience and it was still 24 hours away but I was on a travel/wildlife HIGH!
The boarder crossing was relatively painless; we had to physically walk across while Paul and Sam took care of vehicle registrations separately. We stood in line for a while and got asked the same questions by the guard, who after the 4th
white Canadian girl finally clued in we were all together (despite our best efforts to explain that). Oddly enough, the exit and entry point were the same, but yay! I have another stamp in my passport and was officially in Country #56 of my travel resume, slowly but surely I will get to 100 before I die (that's my ultimate goal). Not just to step foot in them, but explore the countries,
so I will admit it takes time, but I love every memory I make!
What was so amazing was the change in scenery and clothing and people. Rwanda has a very large population (12 million+) and has over 460 people per square kilometer; so needless to say it got a whole lot more crowded. To put that into perspective; Uganda has 188 people per sq.km, India has 436 and Canada has 4. Yes, Canada is single digit and Rwanda is more densely populated than India! People walking on both sides of the road (that was theoretically big enough for 2 lanes of traffic) plus goats, cows, pigs and the likes. Rwandans drives on the right hand side of the road, and Ugandans drive on the left which we were getting used to so watching Sam drive a left hand sided vehicle on the right after being on the left for over a week was weird.
Rwanda made me think of a crayola box of crayons because of all the colours, that is what stood out the most. The women and some men had bright coloured clothing,
and everyone, all ages, shapes sizes and gender carried something on their heads. Bamboo sticks that were 10 feet in length; baskets full of food, huge bags of onions or potatoes, massive piles of plantains, even small kids carry the yellow water jugs (probably hold 15-20 litres) on their heads. Just utterly fascinating, and their neck muscles are outstanding, again posture is incredible.
The drive was long but beautiful; scenery in Rwanda is stunning, from the lush countryside, to the beautiful endless tea plantations, and again the wonderful people that were everywhere walking, and just living life. Many of the photos in this blog are courtesy of Rhonda, she was better at grabbing random images of life then I was.
Our Best View Hotel in Musanze definitely didn’t have the best view (Sam had warned us), but it was the first hotel we had been in aside from our first (short) night, and it was refreshing. Showers, dinner and prepping for an early start with visions of gorillas dancing in my head while drifting off to sleep. Sleep? Could I sleep? The excitement was almost killing me :-) MORE PHOTOS BELOW
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