A Travellerspoint blog

Back in Kigali

sunny 29 °C

Hello Everyone!

Jan. 18/12
Today was quite an uneventful day really. We got up around 7am and walked into town for breakfast at the "Modern Restaurant" ... it wasn't very modern but the service was good and the food was good and the price was cheap!!! We had a local flat bread called Chapatte and some Rwandan-style french toast. All three meals cost us $3 !!! After breakfast we bought bus tickets to Gisenyi (1 hour away from Musanze). We didn't really know what to find there so we just went to Lake Kivu. Mom and I didn't have our bathing suits on so we walked over to a tourism office and used their washroom to change. When we returned there was a fairly large group of young boys who were swimming in the lake right in front of us. They were showing off for us ... it was quite cute. But then a bunch of older men stopped about 5 feet away from us and were blatantly staring at us. It made mom and Louie very uncomfortable ... Louie felt like he was a circus freak lol!!! I told them it is probably not rude to stare here and they were most likely curious because we were the only white people on the beach but they still wanted to leave. So we started walking back to the bus depot but got lost along the way so we took some moto-taxis back. We went back to Musanze and went to a coffee shop to use the internet but it was down so we walked to a large hotel to use theirs but it was also down. We went back to our rooms to watch the videos of our gorilla trek ... I fell asleep though lol. Then we went for supper and watched a movie.

Jan. 19/12
Got up at 9am today and packed up our bags. We checked out of our hotel and walked back into town for breakfast at the Modern Restaurant again. We caught a bus back to Kigali ... this was not as comfortable as the other two but it was still bearable. Only cost us $5 each for a 2 hour bus ride. Once back in Kigali we got a taxi to our hotel and then walked to the parliament building. We got some pictures but weren't allowed up to see the building. There are still bullet holes and missile holes all over the building from the genocide. Then we walked to the Rwandan Development Board to get a map of Kigali to plan our next few days. We stopped at a supermarket and bought some fruit and water and fresh juice. We are going to Sole Luna for supper tonight ... Nick and Kelly Jones recommended it!! We really want to go to Speak, I am Listening NGO in Kigali but are having a difficult time finding out where it is. If anyone can google it and come up with an address or a phone number please email me or post a comment on our blog. Thanks.
Hope all is well at home ... we know it is freezing!!! We feel for all of you. Love you all!

Posted by braycullen 05:54 Archived in Rwanda Comments (2)

Now in Rwanda

sunny 20 °C

We made it to Nairobi at 8pm on sat. jan. 14 th ... I guess it would have been 11am Regina time!!! We had a driver waiting to pick us up and take us to our hotel. Since it was Sunday the next morning there were no banks open so we had a hell of a time getting money exchanged. We ended up having to exchange money at the black market. Then we hired a driver to take us all around Nairobi for the day. We started at the baby elephant sanctuary where we were briefed about all the babies they had there and how they were orphaned. We got to watch them drink
from giant baby bottles and play in watering holes. We sponsored a baby elephant while we were there. Then we went to the giraffe sanctuary
and got to feed a giraffe from our mouths ... we got some good pics and video! It was a pretty cool experience. Then we went to the Bomas of
Kenya ... a cultural centre. There was actually a political event going on while we were there ... another thing we weren't supposed to do but it
turned out alright. We had lunch there and then went to watch some Kenyan drumming, dancing and aerobatics! The last performance was
amazing!! We have video of that too ... will show you all when we get home! Then we toured around a bunch of village replicas .. they were
pretty cool too. Then we went to Carnivore for supper. It was expensive but its all you can eat meat and they bring the meat around to your
table and you can choose what you would like to try. We had spare ribs, turkey, chicken, pork, beef, crocodile, ostrich and ox balls ... Louie's fave
was the ostrich and so was my mom's. I really liked the crocodile.
The next day, Jan. 16 we flew from Nairobi to Kigali, Rwanda. We made it through customs without any problems and headed straight for the
Canadian Embassy to notify them we were in the country. Then we went to the Rwanda Development Board to pick up our gorilla permits. It took\a long time and Louie and my mom had to wait in the car for me to come back. They were troopers because they spent a lot of the day
waiting around. Then we went to the bus depot ... we bought our tickets to Musanze and bought a few snacks for the road. The bus ride was
1.5 hours. We had to walk to our hotel ... uphill for about 2 kms. It was pretty tough but we were sure glad to find it. Our rooms are pretty nice.
We went for a short walk around our hotel to see what was there and then we took some motor cycle taxis to the local market to buy some
fresh fruit and veg.
On Jan. 17 we were up at 5:45am to get ready for our gorilla trek. Our driver picked us up at 6:15 and drove us to the park entrance. We
watched some traditional Rwandan drumming and dancing while we waited to be assigned to a group. We were placed with an Australian family
of four. Our guides, Patrick and D, were amazing!!! We also hired a porter to help us up the mountain and to carry our bags if we needed. The
trek up the mountain was super challenging ... it took us over 2 hours to get to where the gorillas were feeding. We climbed over 1000 meters
up a steep mountain. We started our trek at 2100m above sea level and climbed to over 3100m ... the top of the mountain is only 3711m!!
It was so hard ... but once we got there and got to see the gorillas it was so worth it!! Best $500 we've ever spent and so worth the difficult
climb. We got to see 3 females, 1 juvenile, 2 babies and 1 silverback!!! The juvenile actually rolled into my mom and almost knocked her over.
It was so funny but scary at the same time. Right at the end of our visit all of the gorillas came together and we got to see them all in one area ... it was the best!! Can't wait to show you all the pics and video ... we got to be so close to them ... it was so thrilling! We were only
7-10 feet away from them ... sometimes even closer!
We were so exhausted after our trek that Louie and I had to have a nap before supper. We went for supper at our hotel and then we
watched Hotel Rwanda ... mom fell asleep at 8pm !!! So we sent her to bed. Louie and I finished the movie and then went to bed. We were up
this morning at 7am (last night was the first night Louie and I slept through the night ... it was well needed). We walked into town to find an
internet cafe. Now we are going for breakfast and taking a bus to Gisenyi and Lake Kivu for the day. We will update more when we can. The
internet is much more difficult to find than I had expected. Hope you all are well. We love you !!

Posted by braycullen 22:43 Archived in Rwanda Comments (5)

in amsterdamn

We made it to Amsterdam, its 7 am here and we're just waiting to get on our Nairobi flight in 3 hours. So far so good. Hopefully we'll get a nap in before the flight.

Posted by braycullen 22:16 Archived in Netherlands Comments (1)

Getting Ready

semi-overcast -12 °C

We are less than two weeks away from departure and I'm starting to get very excited!!! I figured I had better set up our blog website and get everyone the address so they can keep tabs on us while we are away. We are pretty much ready to go but there are few last minute details we are still taking care of. Sometimes I still can't believe we are going to AFRICA for our honeymoon!
Anyway, this is just a short note to get everyone started on our blog. There will be more to come ...

Posted by braycullen 18:46 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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