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Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and…

April 25th, 2005

Hi all!

First of all I’m glad to tell you that I’m not a Mzungu anymore even if I was wearing a mzungu t-shirt since Tanzania. I’m now a Vaza! That’s how they call us in Madagascar!

So let’s come back to Rwanda, I spent so much time at the boarder laughing at some french people that were trying to import cars that I arrive very late in Kigali. You can imagine that is not a very good idea. I was dump in a taxi for the center of town by the taxi from the border. They speaks french there, so do I, but it was very hard/impossible to know BEFORE how much they would charge me. I told them the hotel where I wanted to go and we circle town at least 3 times before they admit they had no clue where it was. I finaly got out of the car had a fight about the price of the taxi and walk around town with a Congolese guy I met in a restorant. After over an hour walking around I finaly went to a 26$ hotel, one of the most expensive night in 7 mounths!!
The next morning I left for Kibuye, who’s one of my favorite city so far. So peacefull and beautifull. That’s where I spend my birthday. I just realised I told all that in the last mail! Oh well.
After Kibuye I went to Cyangugu (read the other post for details about the bus break-down) and then to Gahini where I met 3 Singning Aussie chicks. It was great with them, 2 of them were leaving the place so we had lots of departure party, BBQ. As they were singning Aussies, they were lots of signing going on! I talked about them to a guy I met later and he said he also met them in Uganda and they were still singning! πŸ™‚ I went with Jenny to the hospital where she was doing her interneship, I was DR Mat, look pretty cool with the white robe and the stetoscope(don’t know the name in english). You can see that on the pictures web site…
After that it was one of my biggest deception so far, the gorillas! Wow, it’s sooo expensive that I give it a miss. On the hostel where I was staying I almost when into a fight with a guy on a overland tour that was telling me that travelling in East Africa is the same as travelling in Europe. Well, yes if all your transport, food and accomodation is brought to you, it’s like Europe. Anyway, I love overlanders! πŸ™‚

I then cross to Uganda (where the gorillas were still too expensive for me). It was a shock to see how people (espacialy Matatus/Bus) are very greedy. They all try to rip us off. You see that the locals are paying let’s say 15000 and they ask you 25000. You always have to double check with the other passengers. I almost got in a fight (I really don’t do that often even it’s the second time I write it in this e-mail!) with a driver for 1000ush than I realised it was only 50 cents… But still, it’s not very nice to have the feeling that they cheat on you on every occasion. Funny things is the number are the same as in swahili, so I knew when they try to cheat. They were very surprised when I told them that they were lying to me.
One of the best place I went in Uganda (beside the free Internet hostel) was the Sesse Island. I really enjoyed Kalangala where they of corse try to cheat on the price of the matatu/taxi! I could have spent so much time there but I had to move on because I had to meet my father in Kenya. On the first island, Banda, I met 2 german girls. Actualy I was traveling with one and we met the other one on the boat. They were soooo happy to be able to talk german again that they almost didn’t stop for 48 hours!!! After those island it was RAFTING TIME! Second experience on that trip, it seems a bit smaller than the Zambezi. The White Nile still kicked my ass. The nice thing was the boat crew, a lot more energitic than the one on the Zambezi who were more petting the water than paddling. Andrew and me did the biggest rapid 2 times, thanks to ppl who chickened out, and that was probably the highlight of the day. Than we attacked the free beers! We lost quite early 2 danish girls who just disapear too drunk too handle the fiesta! πŸ™‚

It was time to go to Kenya to meet my father. I did the trip with the 2 Danish that couldn’t handle the beer πŸ™‚ Everything went smooth on the borders, I think the people that worked there where quite tired, they didn’t even notice that the visa of the 2 Danish was expired since more than a mounth! On the 2nd night we went to Carnivore, that was very cool because we manage to get a big group of very nice people. Even my friend Paul, who was on is way back to France, from Arusha was there (at least at the end).
As a birthday present my father bring me to a Safari. In the Safari was a Swedish guy (Ken) that we finaly end up traveling with for the whole time my father was in Kenya. After the safari, where we saw the big five and more, we went to the coast. First Lamu where we spent about a week and didn’t do much beside going to the beach and drink beer, it was great! πŸ™‚
Than back to Nairobi where I met one of the German girl that was in Uganda and we decided to travel togeter to Madagarcar.

That’s where I am right now since about 10 days. It’s wonderfull, I’m so glad I came here! Landscape are wonderfull, peoples are beautifull (well mostly the girls according to Marie) food is most of the time very good. Transport here can be VERY slow even if the road are quite good. There’s a lot of hills and the Taxi-Brousses are a bit old so they have a very hard time to climb the hills. I think the average speed is around 50km/h so it’s very very long to get anywhere.
They use 2 currency here and we were VERY confuse the first night. There is Ariary and FMG (Franc Malgache). To convert you need to do times 5. Most of the notes are in Ariary but the peoples always talk in FMG (5 times more). The first night, we walk around town trying to find a cheap place because they all talked in FMG and we were converting using Aryary exchange rate. We finaly went in a hostel where the price were listed in both currency!!
We are planning a trip in National Parcs in the next few days.

I’ll keep you posted, thanks to all the people that takes time to right me, I do my best to reply to every one!

Mat.



Pense du mois : Perceptions are the ennemies of the thruth

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