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Imelda’s African Adventure - Rwanda & Kenya July 20th 2006 to July 30th 2006

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Aug 13th, 2006, 01:26 PM
  #21
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Lynda, I know what you mean about reading the other reports, I'm afraid I've fallen waaayyy behind with them too and I haven't even had time to print them out.. after all I did promise to start this report this weekend and I didn't want to be TOO sadistic by leaving you all hanging on for the 'punchline'.
Speaking of trip reports, Wildebeestus, sorry for not commenting on your report, I had read the very first bit and then I have been missing it since. I've just found it again so hopefully I will catch up soon!
Sandi, I am not quite caught up with your report either but I have to say those accomodations sound and look AMAZING! I am especially taken with Shompole but I don't think hubby would go for the 'no walls' experience - remember his bug issue !
Cyn, Patty and Sandi, to be honest, while writing this report I'm still giggling away to myself! I think I will be for a long time to come!!
Sandi, I didn't even THINK of that soccer team when we got back on (even though they were still on the flight)- we were too engrossed in wiping the sweat off our faces and laughing! I was a little embarassed I have to admit, especially when the hostess made the announcement '...for those who have rejoined the flight, the flight to Kigali will be 30 minutes....' or something to that effect. She wasn't actually being sarcastic, just filling us in AND they turned on a big screen at the front showing a map with the route (a bit like the map on BA's little screens)!
Nyamera, sorry to dissapoint ... I'll try to make Rwanda as interesting as possible (not too difficult a task I might add!)

Imelda
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Aug 13th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Oh my GOD Imelda! I have never heard anything like this - you pooooor darlings. I cannot even IMAGINE what I'd do as that realisation that we were in the wrong country dawned on me! Good on you for making it back to the plane!!!
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Aug 13th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Imelda,
I thought you said you couldn't write! This is wonderful! Keep going!
Lonely Plant has a series of travel anthologies titled along the lines of "I Wish I'd Stayed Home" and I Should Have Stayed Home, etc. They are all true stories of travels gone wrong(or almost wrong.) I think your tale would qualify!
Can't wait to hear more.
Lily
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Aug 13th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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Sorry Deck meant that to be .... I would NEVER laugh at my husbands 'bug thing' !!
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Aug 13th, 2006, 02:13 PM
  #25
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No bugs, it's too godawful hot for them to survive. If by privacy you mean the "twoi-lette" know that they and the showers are in two different areas of each suite and both have wash basins. Give Shompole another look-see!

As to the mossies, from dusk to dawn... just like the rest of the malaria areas, once inside the nets, you're fine. I don't even recall mossies anywhere, but for the grass flies or whatever that got my ankles at Desert Rose.

But right now, want to read more of your tale!
 
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Aug 13th, 2006, 04:19 PM
  #26
 
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Ok, Imelda, I guess I won't ask what your impressions of Burundi are. Talk about making dust out of town. Good thing that plane waited for Deck's cig. break he must be very important to hijack an entire plane for a puff. So funny!
Would love to be a fly on the wall in the employees coffee room after that episode.
Look forward to the rest of your adventures.
Sherry
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Aug 13th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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What an adventure, Imelda! That really sounds like something I would do but I'm glad it was you and Deck! What a way to start your trip. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of it.

~Cindy
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Aug 13th, 2006, 09:28 PM
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I can just feel that panic when it dawns upon you... Thank you very much for making me choke om my very hot morning coffee amp;

Don't let your work get in the way of writing the report!
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Aug 13th, 2006, 09:52 PM
  #29
 
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Imelda,

This is the report I have been waiting for and already you have not dissapointed!

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Aug 14th, 2006, 12:57 AM
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Deck's got the pub story of a lifetime there - fag break in Burundi, with the visa stamp to prove it. This is even better than I thought - well done getting back on the plane though! It's a bit like one of those "mother-lifting-car-to-free-trapped-child-underneath-how-did-she-do-that?" things isn't it?

With hindsight, do you think this was actually the best possible way to start your trip?
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Aug 14th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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The trick, as most women know, with these decisions, is to let the other half think it's their idea.>b>

Imelda,
Ahh, the universal female manipulation theory in action! LOVE IT!
Loving your report, lauging and stressing right along with you...waiting for more!
Teri
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Aug 14th, 2006, 10:56 AM
  #32
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Kavey, Yes, it was quite a shock when that bombshell was dropped and I certainly thought about crying but thankfully it didn't get to that

Lily,
Thank you for your kind comments. Any yes, my tale just might fit the bill for LP but I am definately glad we didn't stay at home.

Sandi, It's those nets that hubby doesn't trust. He can't BEAR to be able to even see those critters when he's in bed so I really think it's going to be a non-runner for Shompole. I don't mind too much though if lodges it has to be then lodges it will be if it means getting back to Africa ! You poor thing with those grass flies at Desert Rose! Hope those bites didn't itch for TOO long.

Sherry,
Never come between a man and his adiction, especially Decks!!!
I'm sure that those staff had a really good laugh at us... glad it made someones day a bit of fun!

Cindy, It certainly was a start with a 'bang'!

Siro, Hope you've gotten over your coffee incident this morning . And yes, that feeling of panic just swept over me ... not a nice feeling to put it mildly!

Wayne,
Glad you're liking the report, but now ye know all the 'good' bits. Hope the rest isn't too ordinary and 'boring'.

Kimburu, We have both gotten a serious amount of 'mileage' out of this story. I think it will definately be one of those that will be told to future kids and grandkids .
In hindsight I suppose after losing luggage and almost ending up in Burundi instead of Rwanda things just had to get better and we certainly looked on the bright side for the rest of the trip.It was also a VERY good thing we had some sleep the LHR - NBO leg otherwise our frame of mind might have been different. Also, I have to say, Deck was brilliant. He could very well have turned around and said 'I told you it said Burundi' but he didn't, he just started laughing with me! So yes, I suppose in the long run it was a good thing as number one, it will NEVER happen to me again and number two, what would I have put in my trip report had it not happened!
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Aug 14th, 2006, 11:19 AM
  #33
 
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Hi Imelda,
Kennedy warned me that you would have a great story, but I didn't realize that it would be that crazy! I'm glad everything worked out for you and Deck (at least so far in your story)... I can't wait to hear more!
Darren
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Aug 14th, 2006, 11:33 AM
  #34
 
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Imelda,
Luckily I survived the hot coffe and eventually got most of it down my throat

Looking forward to the upcoming report, I have a feeling you had a great trip
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Aug 14th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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This was just too funny Imelda!!! (I just couldn't wait to read this, so I am reading 'on screen' at lunch.....) I have just been dying to know the story and just couldn't put yours to the proper order for reading!
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Aug 14th, 2006, 12:42 PM
  #36
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Imelda:
A great story--I am so glad that you were able to get back on the plane. I kept worrying that you would miss your trekking.
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Aug 14th, 2006, 12:50 PM
  #37
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Teri, Yes, us women are a clever breed aren't we !
Darren, Kennedy had a good laugh at our adventures. I think he actually thought we were joking when we told him first! But of course we convinced him we weren't. .... Any sign of your trip report by the way??????!!!
Siro, Glad I wasn't the cause of ANOTHER mishap
Lynda, Glad you're enjoying it!

Now for a little more:

Well we eventually land in Kigali at 2.30 and boy were we glad to be on Rwandan soil. We paid our visas, this time the correct ones and went down stairs to the lost luggage office to finally report our bags missing. The office was locked and after a LOT of tooing and froing we eventually found someone to open the office. While I was filling out the forms Deck went out to arrivals to see if Joyce had made it. He came back a short time later, poor Joyce and our driver Richard were outside and had been waiting for us since 12.30. She HAD actually gotten my e-mail and knew we would be on the later flight but she hadn’t known that that flight was delayed. Deck had filled both her and Richard in on our escapade so when we both went out, having filled in the necessary paperwork, Joyce had a HUGE hug for me.. Poor Joyce kept apologising ‘ I am sorry you lost your bags’ she kept saying. We told her ‘no worries – we are in Africa & we’re going to have a good time’ I think she was a little surprised by our positive up-beat attitude but we were just very glad to be in the right country and to hell with the bags, we’d get by. We did tell Joyce though that I would need some closed in shoes of some sort to do the Gorilla trek in and if we could get a second pair of trousers for each of us and maybe some sort of jacket for Deck that would be great. No worries, we will go to the market and get some cheap clothes’.
Well we all load up in to the 4x4, Richard in the drivers seat and Joyce in the passenger seat with myself and Deck in the back. At this stage Deck and myself are both quite thirsty and Deck remembers there is one of those little aeroplane cans of diet coke in the bag – just the thing to solve the problem. Well he opens it up and then asks Joyce ‘ Would you like some?’ ‘Oh Yes thank you’ she says and Deck hands the can to her, well what happened next really was the crowning glory to our day and I really don’t know how the both of us stopped ourselves from laughing out loud but... Joyce took the coke and thinking we had offered her the WHOLE can, proceeded to drink the entire contents, commenting on how nice it was. I swear I don’t know how Deck and myself didn’t actually wet ourselves trying to hold in the laughter. It really was ‘just one of those days!’.
Anyways, of we set off through the streets of Kigali towards the market. Along the way we stopped at someplace where we could change some money. Deck asked how much he should change bearing in mind we were going to buy some clothes. Richard said $40 or $50 should get us the clothes we needed so Deck changed around $100. We arrived at the market and Richard parked up and stayed with the jeep. Joyce brought Deck and myself down some steps and straight to a large stall where there were lots of runners. To cut a very long story short I found a pair that wasn’t in TOO bad of condition and in my size and Joyce did the bargaining. She asked us ‘is 4000 OK?’, that’s about €4 right… ‘yes, that’s OK’ so Deck counts out the money and gives it to Joyce, then it dawns on us ... that’s NOT €4, that’s €40… ‘Joyce how much is that in US$?’…. oh Nooooo, we’ve just paid over $50 for a pair of second hand runners that would cost less than half that new at home . Well all we can do is suck it up and learn ANOTHER lesson!! Next we go to look at some trousers but by this stage we are a little worried we are going to spend a fortune on clothes that we will never use again. Joyce figured out that this was going to cost us a fortune and said to me ‘I will give you something to wear’. Originally, when Deck had gone in search of her in the airport and told her the story about our lost luggage etc., she had offered the same thing. I asked her if she was sure she didn’t mind and she said that she didn’t so with that we left the market to take her up on her unbelievably kind offer.
Along the way, Richard produced one of the things I absolutely LOVED in Rwanda - a bunch of the sweetest ‘mini’-bananas that I have ever tasted. I had never seen those little bananas before and I had never tasted anything like them either. During my time in Rwanda I basically lived on them ... Delicious! When we arrived at Joyce’s she led me into a cosy little room where I waited. She came back with a tracksuit and a top. I asked her again if she was sure she didn’t mind and she reassured me that she was glad to help. What a fantastic person she was to do this. This was probably the only tracksuit she owned and she didn’t hesitate to give it to me. I really couldn’t thank her enough. With that we said goodbye with the promise of seeing her tomorrow.

Originally we had planned to visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali before we went to Rhuengeri but it was too late to do that now so instead we stop at a shop for drinks and goodies for our journey to Gorillas Nest where we are spending our first night in Africa. Once we have stocked up off we go to begin our journey to see the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda – something I had longed to do ever since that evening in February when I first discovered that such a thing was possible!
The journey North was along a smooth surfaced road that was very windy. The views were absolutely amazing and now I know first hand why Rwanda is known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’. We fell in love with the eucalyptus trees that sprung up along the road. The colour, especially in the fading light, was spectacular. For two and a half hours we drove round and up, round and up and all along the road people were walking, walking. So many people going where? It got dark at around 6.30 and still people walked. How the cars avoided these people I will never know. Richard turned out to be an amazing guy who absolutely, totally and utterly LOVES his job. His English was a little broken but we understood each other perfectly. We talked the entire way to Rhuengeri. There we collected our trekking permits from Greg of Amahoro Tours. We left the smooth tarmacadamed road and travelled on a relatively smooth dirt track arriving at Gorillas Nest at about 7.30pm. We unloaded and were greeted with a cold drink. Richard waited with us to make sure we got checked in OK. We said goodbye to him and headed straight for our room.
The grounds of Gorillas Nest were beautiful especially with the lighting along the pathways to the rooms but I’m afraid that I can’t compliment the rooms in the same way. Wayne, you had warned me in advance about the rooms being sparse and cold and they didn’t disappoint!!!!! They were FREEZING!! A guy arrived with towels just after we entered the room. I would love to say they were warm and fluffy but I’m afraid the description was more like cold & damp! Oh well, we could cope for one night. We DIDN’T get changed and put on fresh clothes (LOL) but we went for dinner. It was a buffet affair that was basic but edible but not much more. I, being a vegetarian, had some rice and beans (you told me about this too Wayne!). I actually wasn’t very hungry so a couple of fork fulls sufficed. We saw those lovely little stoves that again Wayne you had mentioned and asked for one but it actually never came and by this time we were pretty tired so we just ordered a packed lunch for tomorrow and a wake-up call for 5.50am. We toddled off to our room where we had a good laugh about our adventure and snuggled up in our very damp bed after almost 40 hours of travelling.
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Aug 14th, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #38
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Bat, Thank you! If we had missed the trekking I would have been totally and utterly gutted. It really would have ruined the trip but thankfully someone was looking down on me saying 'OK, they've suffered enough, let them trek!'

Imelda
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Aug 14th, 2006, 01:32 PM
  #39
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that really was nice of Joyce--looking forward to your trek story.
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Aug 14th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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OK, Imelda, I had to stop with the Coke can. I red that in my office while snacking onc crackers and nearly bit my tongue off! That is hilarious.

But there was also a part of me that was like "are they going to drink after a stranger?" When I was hiking to see the gorillas, the guide cut a piece of bamboo, took a bite & then handed it around to several people who each proceeded to bite and hand it around. $) No offense, but we all just met!

OK, back to the story...
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