Rwanda is absolutely stunning.
Sometimes you look at the landscape and it renders you speechless.
So lucky to live here, for as long as I'm allowed to.
It's been a long week recovering from the bonfire incident. On top of the hand, I've had a mild bout of bronchitis, probably from all that shisha. Have not been feeling great, and poor Paul has had to amuse himself around town for a couple of days.
Started to feel a bit better mid-week so decided to venture to Karongi (formerly Kibuye). It's an absolutely beautiful part of the country, and Paul really had to see it. I was still a bit fragile and needed to stop in to get my dressing changed before we could go, so we hired Senga to make the three hour drive in comfort, rather than battle our way through Nyabugogo bus park.
On the way we stopped off at Chutes Ndaba, a waterfall named for an ill-fated honey collector who reached out too far for a sweet treat and fell into the falls. The moral being: don't be greedy.
|Senga at Chutes Ndaba|
We continued on to Karongi and Hotel Bethany, on the shores of Lake Kivu, one of the world's three exploding lakes. The government has just opened a new energy plant to extract the gas. It's said there's enough methane down there to power the country's energy needs for four hundred years. Very exciting stuff.
Bethany is utterly magnificent. The restaurant is right on the water and at night the traditional fishing boats drift out onto the lake, singing and lighting their gas lamps. It's an incredible sight.
In the evening, I watched a roll of mist sweeping up one of the islands. Eerie. Followed by dry lightning storms. Karongi is renowned for impressive electrical storms and loud thunder.
We had a nice view of the lake from our rooms. You can get rooms right on the water for around FRW 30,000 per night, or standard singles for 20,000. Unfortunately, the bathrooms are really basic. Some have a bath, others a shower, some only have scalding hot water, others cold, and some days no water at all. The beds are big and comfy though.
|Bathroom Could Use Some Work|
Another issue is the mosquito infestation. There's no netting on the windows. Although I can't prove it, I have a sneaking suspicion this is where I contracted malaria last year. The staff did offer a bottle of bug spray, but it was about as effective as air freshener. Window netting would definitely make a big difference.
Despite its issues, people flock to Bethany because it has one of the most beautiful views of any hotel in the world. Unfortunately for us, the Ministry of Finance had also flocked there for a conference and we spent our first night with pillows over our faces trying to drown out the ear-splitting music. This is the second time I've been there when they've turned the bar into a nightclub. The DJ seemed unaware that you can play music lower, without knackering the speakers, allowing people in the bar to dance whilst other guests slept. As it was, I'm fairly sure there were people in the DRC begging them to turn it down.
The next day we were back to peace and serenity.
Bethany do a lovely plate of sambaza, the small fish from the lake. We nibbled on them before heading out on a boat trip of the islands.
|Bethany from the Water|
Paused to admire a colony of cormorants. When they fly, they do so just above the surface of the water, their wing tips almost touching.
We also stopped off at Amahoro (Peace) Island for a little walk round.
Then it was home again as the sun was setting, for a nice cold beer by the waterside.