After crossing the border to Rwanda, I withdrew cash from an ATM, and a group of 15-20 people swarmed me whilst getting back on my motorcycle. Very friendly and they spoke some English. They were just curious and wanted to say hi!
I rode through the capital Kigala, which was fascinating to see how clean and developed it was. There were people maintaining the central reservation in hi-viz, which I can't remember seeing in Africa—although possibly Morocco or South Africa?
I was looking for engine oil and I met the importer of BMW motorcycles for the police. He warned me of the fixed speed cameras around Kigali. They have a very efficient system where you receive an SMS when you have a speeding fine. He showed the SMS messages; he had quite a few!
I wanted to explore so I headed south but had to finish early for the day because of rain. The following day, I returned and headed north because a lot more rain was forecast. I tried capturing a video, but it was blurred from water on the lens.
I found refuge in a cheap hotel in Muhanga. The image below is the view from my room's window. It's views like this that I love because it provides a glimpse into local life. Allow me to explain:
I experienced something odd in three towns that I stayed in. As I walked along the streets, the majority of people would stare at me. A friend had mentioned that he experienced this in Burundi, which is the country on the southern border with Rwanda. Also, groups of children or young men would laugh at me as I walked passed. Perhaps I am being paranoid, but this recurred in different places. I appreciate my appearance is starkly different&emdash;white, skinhead, and bearded. Here's me posing with my East Africa tourist visa.
Whilst riding around Rwanda, I spotted another crazy load. This time, carrying a sofa.
On my last day in Rwanda, I was hunting for Ugandan shillings in Musanze before crossing the border to Uganda the following day. There are always money changers at borders; however, if I can avoid the hassle and potentially poor rate then I will! All the banks and foreign currency bureaus had no Ugandan shillings. I'm unsure why because the town is 16 miles from the border crossing.
Whilst wondering around towns and cities, I'm often approached by people with various motives. That day, I met Frederick who just wanted to practise his English. He showed me a shoe shop where the owner hand some Ugandan shillings. Result! We exchanged with an honest rate. When changing money on the black market, I exercise caution. To my surprise, after the transaction, the lady pulled out a counterfeit note detector. She proudly scanned each note she had given me. Of course, they were all sound!
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