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    • Day 42

      Swimming lunch and private night sauna

      March 8 in Rwanda ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      We knew that we would be quite busy today again, but didn't want to only stay at our place and never leave for the entire day. For our lunch break we carved out some time and drove to one of the fanciest lodges around, where we entered with the note that we'd love to eat some lunch there.

      It was a glorious lodge built on the hillside, with a direct access to the beautiful waters of Lake Kivu. We ordered some food - some came with surprises, eg the vegetarian salad had canned tuna on it - and drinks, had them delivered to our spot by the water, and went for refreshing dips in the lake throughout our lunch break.

      We liked it so much that we extended our stay there, with me working a bit from my phone and Anne taking a call from the lakeside. With all the use, my phone, which we used for hotspotting an internet connection, combined with the intense rays of the sun, had a tendency to overheat. I was grateful numerous times that my phone was waterproof, because the easiest way to cool it down was by submerging it in the lake 😅😁

      The afternoon was spent back at our place with more work, but for dinner we had plans to leave to eat at a local restaurant. The receptionist at our resort gave us some tips, and we headed there. It was a completely local joint, with no printed menus, and very local food at very local prices. I wanted to try their grilled catch of the day - Tilapia fresh from the lake.

      They advised me that it would take 45-50min preparation time, which sounded good to me. While we were waiting for the food, Anne received a tip from one of her local friends - an opportunity for a private sauna with access to a private beach! The sauna was located in another local lodge, and I gave them a call to make a reservation for 10pm, approximately an hour after I expected to receive the food.

      Unfortunately it took the restaurant almost TWO HOURS to prepare my grilled fish. They prepared it with lots of love and completely from scratch (including the wood fired grill), but they were just sooo slow. This delay meant that there was no time for me to eat anything of the beautiful fish before we went to the sauna. I even had to forfeit my side dishes because they were just not ready at the same time, but I did not want to leave without the fish. They split the fish into two to-go containers (it was a big fish), and off we went to the lodge.

      We showed up late, but were welcomed by a friendly receptionist. He showed us to the sauna, where two staff members were busy heating up the sauna. It wasn't like any sauna I had ever used. This sauna was essentially a wood-fired oven inside a small room. The upside was that everything smelled very nicely of wood. The downside was definitely the smoke in our eyes and the essential inability of controlling the heat.

      When we entered the sauna the first time it had probably a temperature of close to 100 degrees (there was no temperature indication anywhere, I'm guessing). The first thing we did was to air it out a bit to make it more bearable. Between rounds we took the provided bathrobes and went down to the lake via our private beach access. It was a near full moon and it was an absolutely glorious night!

      Of course, some things also didn't work as expected. It was odd that two staff members were chilling right outside the sauna, smoking cigarettes, always watching us when we went to the lake after the sauna. We didn't have any languages in common so communication with them was not possible. They never delivered the towels we were promised, and the shower wasn't stocked with toiletries either contrary to what they sold us. When we tried to get a tiny discount for the shortcomings (as a sort of incentive for them to fix the shortcomings in the future), the manager was apologetic but completely non-understanding why we would want a refund, and anyways without the relevant authority and autonomy to handle a refund.

      Anyways, to have a private sauna and beach for 90 minutes for 15€ was a steal and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Happy and exhausted we went back home.

      The plan was to head to sleep promptly, but I got too intrigued by the still lukewarm tilapia I was carrying around with me. My curiosity got the better of me and it was amazing! This deliciousness was the reason for me wolfing down half a Tilapia at midnight. Something I wouldn't usually do 😅
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    • Day 41

      Catching up on work

      March 7 in Rwanda

      Since we barely made a dent on our to-do lists yesterday with all the hospital craziness, we decided to stay at home today and just play catch up. The on-site restaurant did a great job in keeping us fed, and the views we got to enjoy throughout the day were inspirational to say the least. My highlight of the local food were small fish similar to sardines, only fresh from the lake, in a tomato based sauce, served on ugali, a local accompaniment based on maize flour. Some local veg on the side and I had a fantastic meal.Read more

    • Day 40

      Sunset Lake Views

      March 6 in Rwanda ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      It took the hospital a few hours longer than expected with the call announcing the results, but we got the call the very moment we pulled into the parking lot of our new home for the next few days. They said the results were negative (it wasn't malaria), and that we can now come back to discuss the results. We kindly declined (we were three hours away after all) and hurried to set up our workstations to try to get at least a little bit of productive time in while overlooking the sunset.

      This place, even though it was labeled as a resort, didn't really feel like a resort. It reminded me a lot of the Airbnb I was staying at in Guatemala, where I had comparable views over Lake Atitlán 😊 I spent one month in that place, so this here was great! I had negotiated for a free upgrade to a lake view room, and we were definitely taking full advantage of the setup.

      We ordered dinner from the on-site restaurant to our room, and in true Rwandan fashion it took over an hour to arrive. But we didn't mind, as we didn't plan on leaving tonight anyways. Usually room service costs two dollars extra per meal, and I felt stingy so I told them that I would carry it up the ten steps from the restaurant to our room myself. But they were afraid I'd spill it and offered to bring it up for free instead 😂
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    • Day 25

      Is the a lake? Is it a sea?

      June 21 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      A few hours and 2 buses after leaving Kitabi, I got out in a totally different climate zone. It's hard to believe in the first moment - I'm still in Rwanda, an east African country without access to the sea. Dry air, Mediterranean-like plants, smell of fresh water, maybe I just teleported to Croatia? This really shows how incredible this country is, combining so much biodiversity in such a small area! One thing that remained unchanged is the quality of service, yet again I had an amazing guide, who brought me for a boat trip with picturesque islands. Two of them had very special fauna on them, as you can see on the pictures ;)

      After enjoyable day, it's time to move again - next coastal town Gysenyi it's waiting for me!
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    • Day 7

      To Kibuye

      May 29, 2018 in Rwanda ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      At the risk of sounding boring today the scenery was stunning. The country contains diverse landscapes and perhaps today was some of the most beautiful. Only 50 miles and 5000 feet climbing the day was easier- but the 2500 foot climb in the middle was tough, although the view from the top was amazing The normally excellent roads however on this stage were not present, numerous potholes meant careful riding but I still managed to get a pinch puncture after hitting one too hard.

      A fast descent into Kibuye gave even more stunning views as we approached lake Kivu. The guest house we are staying at must be one of the most beautiful locations anywhere, on a peninsula and looking out both ways to the lake. A swim in the Lake followed by chips and then a short trip to a Swedish sauna, with a real stove running on eucalyptus also on the lake. A perfect way to loosen up and look over to the hills of the Congo.

      Psalm 121
      1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
      where does my help come from?
      2 My help comes from the Lord,
      the Maker of heaven and earth.
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    • Day 137

      Au bord du Lac Kivu

      March 22, 2019 in Rwanda ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

      Dans la famille des grands lacs africains, je demande le lac Kivu ! Véritable petite mer bordant l'ouest du Rwanda et frontière naturelle avec la RDC... Nous l'avons souvent approché, mais nous n'aurons fait qu'un petit pas au Congo !

      Nous posons nos valises dans la paisible ville de Kibuye, au bord de l'eau, dans un hôtel avec une vue imprenable sur le lac et les collines vertes l'entourant. Fidèles à nos habitudes nous entreprenons un tour sur le lac en bateau, partagé avec deux voyageuses finlandaises. Les paysages sont superbes et la vue du sommet de l'île Napoléon mémorable.

      Cette halte sera aussi l'occasion de rencontrer Pierre-Jean et sa famille. On doit avoir l'air sympa, car il nous invite à son mariage avec sa future femme rwandaise le weekend suivant ! On n'hésite pas et nous retrouvons 3 jours plus tard en pleines festivités traditionnelles à Kigali, en compagnie des finlandaises et d'un égyptien également rencontré à Kibuye.

      Une invitation à un mariage en Afrique, cela ne se manque pas et nous ne sommes pas déçus. Cérémonie de la dot le vendredi avec danses, chants et la traditionnelle négociation du nombre de vaches à offrir contre la main de la mariée, messe le lendemain et fête jusque tard dans la nuit. C'est sur ce moment fort que nous quittons le Rwanda la nuit même du mariage, pour 26h de bus direction la Tanzanie...

      ...mais mon petit doigt me dit que nous y reviendrons... 🤩 🇷🇼🇷🇼🇷🇼
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    • Day 59

      Hotel Bethany, Kibuye, Kivumeer

      November 8, 2016 in Rwanda ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Vandag vat ons dit rustig en vang op met rekenaarwerk, eposse en dinge. Môre ry ons verder suid na Nyungwe Forest- nasionale park. Die uitsig hier is dalk een van Afrika se mooistes. Kan heeldag hier sit. Die Fortuner waardeer ook die blaaskans na gister se modderpetaljes.Read more

    • Fahrt nach Kibuye

      October 21, 2022 in Rwanda ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

      Ankunft am Busbahnhof in Kigali.
      Eine unüberschaubare Menschenmenge und Busse..... Alle reden auf uns ein.... Hier in Ruanda sind wir ganz sicher als Europäer keine Seltenheit, trotzdem ist man sofort umzingelt von einer Menschentraube.
      Es erscheint fast unmöglich den richtigen Bus nach Kibuye zu finden. Mit Hilfe ein paar junger Männer, agents, finden wir den ticket counter und anschließend den richtigen Bus. In diesen Fall ein Taxi Bus, Matatu. Das sind kleinere Busse mit vielen Sitzplätzen, folglich verdammt eng. Es gab noch genau zwei Sitze in der letzen durchgehenden Reihe. Wir quetschten uns auf die Plätze mit den Worten "es ist schön hier!!!" Fahrtdauer von Kigali nach Kibuye 4 Stunden. Unterwegs gab es einen Stopp, um sich Getränke oder snacks zu kaufen oder um auf Toilette zu gehen. Den vollbesetzen Bus zu verlassen, ist kompliziert.
      Im schmalen Mittelgang sitzen Leute auf aufklappbaren Notsitzen. Und die Zwischenräume werden mit jeder erdenklichen Form von Gepäck gefüllt. Und so beginnt meine Klettertur von ganz hinten nach vorne zum Ausgang.
      In Kibuye angekommen nehmen wir uns einen "Privat driver" zum Gästehaus. Es regnet in Strömen und der driver verlangt 20 US Dollar für die Fahrt. Es gelingt duch Sturheit ihn auf 5 Dollar runterzuhandeln (wahrscheinlich immer noch zu viel)
      Hier angekommen lässt sich nur vermuten, dass die Priester (die das Gästehaus angeblich leiten???) schon vor langer Zeit geflüchtet sein müssen. Jetzt ist es nur noch ein in die Jahre heruntergeommendes Hotel.
      Aber wir bekommen jede ein Zimmer mit Lake View. Und wenigstens haben wir bis Sonntag jede ein eigenes Bad, das man ohne Hindernisse überwinden zu müssen, betreten kann.
      Die Landschaft um den Lake Kivu ist traumhaft. Es ist mittlerweile Abend und hoffentlich können wir morgen die Umgebung genießen.

      Durch den Lake Kivu geht die Grenze zum Kongo. Kurz vor unserer Ankunft begegneten uns ein paar mal ruandische Militärfahrzeuge, auf denen jeweils ein Soldat mit Maschinenpistole im Anschlag saß. Die berechtigte Angst vor Rebellen ist hier groß.
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    • 7. Tag

      October 22, 2022 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      ikitondo kisa/
      Guten Morgen

      Nach einer erholsamen Nacht konnte ich warm duschen. Was für ein Luxus.

      Das Frühstück ist, wie überall, furchtbar langweilig.
      Toast, Marmelade, Früchte und mit viel Glück ein Ei.
      Trotzdem, draußen sitzend, erfreuen wir uns an dem Sonnenschein und der Natur. Das Hotel liegt relativ hoch und so schauen wir runter auf die wunderschöne Seenlandschaft.
      Wir buchen im Hotel eine Bootsfahrt auf dem Kivu See, die zu drei verschiedenen Inseln führt.
      Allerdings müssen wir zum Startpunkt zu Fuß gehen. Immer bergab. Ungefähr 4 km. Beim Boot angekommen spüre ich meine Arthrose.....
      Die Fahrt ist großartig, wir machen Fotos und liegen auf den Bänken. Wir sind die einzigen Gäste. In der Ferne sehen wir die DR Kongo.
      Die erste Insel ist eine Affeninsel. Irgendwann bekommen wir sie, die Affen, zu sehen. Die zweite Insel ist eine Vogelinsel. Ich sehe keinen einzigen Vogel. Die dritte Insel ist eine Badeinsel. Es gibt aber keinen Strand. Egal, es war wunderbar. Die Fahrt ist nach drei Stunden zu Ende. Jetzt steht uns der Gang zurück, nur bergauf, bevor.
      Auch Brigitte streikt. Wir hatten uns kürzlich "eigentlich" geschworen, nie mit einem Boda Boda (Moped Taxi) zu fahren. Der Eid wurde gebrochen.
      Die Fahrt war luftig und richtig gut. Wir könnten uns daran gewöhnen.
      Zurück im Hotel gibt es frisch gepressten Ananassaft und eine Pizza.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Kibuye, Kibujė, Кибуе

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