Saturday Morning Sufferfest With a View


The view north from about 6,000 feet atop Colline Bumbogo (a Cat 2 climb on the outskirts of Kigali recently renamed Haedrich’s Hump on Strava).

IMG_6850Rwanda is truly “the land of a thousand hills,” (in addition to “the petting zoo of mountain gorillas” and “the tiny country with the nasty past”) and those hills are steep, lush and crawling with life — people, that is; harvesting coffee, bananas, maise, cabbage and other foods. I always feel a bit guilty riding my bike just for fun, when most Rwandans ride the same roads with eighty pounds of plaintains on the back of their bikes…

With the rainy season slowly creeping up on us, conditions have changed from painfully dry and dusty to dusty with a chance of puddles and mud. There’s an almost permanent cloud cover and haze these days, which takes the edge off the equatorial sun and helps keep daytime temperatures comfy in the low to mid 80s.

The Kinyarwandan word of the day is “Amafaranga.” It’s what the little kids yell at you once they’ve exhausted their shrieks of “muzungu” (white guy), and done the obligatory “good morning”, “how are you” and “where are you going.” As I expected, they’re moving on to business with the ritual pleasantries and greetings squared away — amafaranga means “money” as in, “gimme some.” Too bad it’s gotten to that, but I’m not sure you can really blame ’em for trying.

(As always, click the littler pictures to embiggen).