Lake Bunyonyi (Part 2)
Another major part of a vacation is the part that involves traveling. Nobody seems to have found a good way to hop from home to destination. If you live in a country where the traveling does seem like a hop then don’t talk to me. It’s never that easy here.
The first leg of our trip home from the lake involved a motor boat. We had to take a 15 minute boat ride from the peninsula that houses Byoona Amagara to the main shore. The sun was out, the water was cool and it was a beautiful afternoon ride. Once at the shore we waited for a car.
The car taxi arrived after about 15 minutes and took us to the town of Kabale. The road was like a smuggler’s route along the edge of the lake: dirt, rutted and occasionally populated by cows. Our driver wanted to know all about our travels in Uganda and we had to explain that really we just live across the border and our stay in Uganda was quite short. I think that people assume that since I’m pregnant there is no way that we actually *live* here. Heaven forbid a mzungu would start a family in this place. ha
In Kabale we wanted to do some grocery shopping. Ugandan stores generally carry a few items that are hard to find in Rwanda and we managed to pick up some cheap dates, sesame oil (which has proved to be a bust) and sweetened condensed milk (I know, I know…I could probably make it myself, but I’m much too lazy for that). We walked around town for a while and finally found the taxis that would take us to the border.
So we got into this one car. We told the driver that it was NOT to be a special hire and we were willing to wait until they filled the car with people. It took about 45 minutes for them to round up another five people to squeeze in. In the meantime we had to endure the shouted insults of a man sitting by the road, “You are going to the border like cattle. You know that you are just being packed in like cows. How could you want to be seen like this? Am I telling lies?”
The border was a straight forward experience. No visas to buy – just fill out an exit form on the Ugandan side, walk across and fill out an entry form on the Rwandan side. We turned down a gazillon offers to exchange money and began hunting for a taxi van to take us to Kigali.
Aaand we waited for about an hour for that van to fill with people. Sometimes the van would drive forward about 50 yards. Then stop. Then back up into the same parking place. Was it a ritualistic act to lure more customers? We never found out. But we did finally embark on the final leg to Kigali.
Once in Kigali it was simple matter of getting a taxi (I was too tired to ride a moto and anyway, should a pregnant woman even ride those things?), getting to the Sonatube roundabout, hopping on the back of bike taxis and riding into the sunset. Home sweet home.
So let’s recap: boat, private car, public car, public van, private car and bicycle. Six hours. Lake to home. The very definition of “travel.”