One day, nine stories: Rachel and Patrick in Rwanda

One day, nine stories: Rachel and Patrick in Rwanda

Rachel and Patrick are a couple from the USA who have left home in March 2015 for their second big bike travel. As of now they have biked 6865 Kilometers through Europe and Africa. There is no deadline for this trip and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them still biking happily in a few years.

Rachel and Patrick publish their experiences on a very regular basis on Crazyguyonabike. Have a look here:

Rachel’s and Patrick’s awesome bicycle adventure

Enjoy Rachel’s and Patrick’s September 5th 2015 in Rwanda!

 

To Bumba: Congo Nile Trail, Day two: Hardest 42k’s ever

Saturday September 5, 2015, 42 km (26 miles) – Total so far: 6,643 km (4,128 miles)

“This must be the trail part of the Congo Nile Trail”, says Rachel as the road becomes more narrow and rockier and eventually a single track. Today we hiked and biked the Congo Nile Trail, or maybe it’s hiking with a bike.

We start out closer to 0800, later than usual for us, because we are having breakfast at the guesthouse…can’t pass up another good cup of coffee. It takes us 2 hours to go 18 kms from Cyimbiri to Kinunu. We take a food break at a junction and confirm which way to go. The road continues to be in bad condition with steep hills making downhill almost as difficult as going up.

From Kinunu to Musasa, another 2 hours to go 8kms. Here the road becomes a single track for awhile, before rejoining the road. Musasa is one of the base camps on the CNT, and in retrospect, this would have been a good place to stop for the day. Thinking we only have 12kms left, we push on.

Constant up and down steep hills (1450 to 1850 meters), waterfalls and streams at the side of the road, lush vegetation and constant requests for money or icupa (bottles) from the kids. The next stretch takes us through lowlands, probably impassable in the rainy season and grassy roadbed with single track. After another 3hours and 37kms from Cyimbiri, we get to a junction where we thought was Bumba. A man approaches us and asks if we are looking for Bumba Base Camp, “I can show”, he says, and points up to the top of a hill. There is also someone who speaks French with Patrick, that indicates a road to the right. Research would give an idea if this is an alternative route to going straight up a hill to Bumba.

We try cycling, but the grade quickly becomes too steep for a loaded touring bike. Perhaps all these hills would be doable if bike packing on a mountatin bike, maybe not even then. This is where the major difference between lowest point and highest point on the trail.
The man follows us as we push our bikes…and waits…as we stop for rests. He directs a couple of kids to help push Patrick’s bike, he starts helping push Rachel’s bike.

5kms and 2 hours later (530pm), we reach Bumba Base Camp, a very basic guesthouse with friendly and helpful people. They provided hot water in a bucket with a lid for a sponge bath, and two beers were delivered when asked if we would like something to drink. By 700pm, a thunderstorm started as we waited to told dinner was ready. There’s a knock on the door, and dinner is brought to us!

This was a very tough day of cycling yet well worth the experience and beautiful scenery. Lake Kivu is a beautiful lake that is between Rwanda and Democratic Republic Congo. Rwanda is definetly living up to the reputation of a “country with a thousand hills”.

 

One day, nine stories is about empathizing with other travel cyclists: here’s the other eight stories!

Heike from Germany who cycles through Japan and decides half way through to rather have a sick day: One day, nine stories: Heike in Japan

Baerbel and Johan from Germany and the Netherlands who biked along the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan bordering Afghanistan: One day, nine stories: Baerbel and Johan in Tajikistan

Astrid from Austria who enjoyed a rest day with new friends in Uruguay: One day, nine stories: Astrid in Uruguay

Claudia and Peter from Austria who spent their September 5th in British Columbia, Canada: One day, nine stories: Claudia and Peter in Canada

Gerd from Germany who is on his way around Australia: One day, nine stories: Gerd in Australia

Luzia and Denise from Germany who had an exhausting travel to a Canadian island: One day, nine stories: Luzia and Denise in Canada

Lisi and Torsten from Germany who biked through the harsh Australian sun: One day, nine stories: Lisi and Tosten in Australia

Annika and Roberto from Germany and Mexico who are biking through Canada: One day, nine stories: Annika and Roberto in Canada

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