Traveling Police chase and Costa del Tanganyika Friday 24 August 2007
Hello from Bujumbura! This morning we left Butare in Rwanda without paying our hotel (we'd paid an advance of 20000 out of 30000) because they hadn't had hot water though I'd asked five times when reserving the room. The lady from the hotel complained to uwhile wgot on our bus to Bujumbura, but we refused to pay and when the bus departed we thought that was it. But a few kilometer out of town, our bus was chased by a Rwandan police car and pulled over, and out of the car came two cops and the hotel lay - ouch. At first the cop was very arrogant and wanted us to get off the bus - which would cost us a day - because he thought we'd sneaked out of the hotel without paying anything, but I explained the whole thing and at the same time said we'd pay the remaining 10000 just not to keep the bus waiting for us, and he seemed to believe me and got friendly. The people on the bus (all locals) were friendly about it too, so nice experience actually - being chased down by the Rwandan police was worth 10000 (20$) even if the hotel wasn't :)

At the border we had to queue a long time twicand we thought everyone else was already through and worried our bus might leave us behind, but when we found it it turned out we were the first through customs and we had a drink with the bus driver while waiting for the rest. We talked with a Burundese guy and I took the chance to ask him how to pronounce the basic Swahili words - so now we can use some local language finally.

We were in Bujumbura at 15h; what a beautiful location it has by lake Tanganyika and surrounded by mountains. We immediately took a taxi to the beach north of town which was superb; great water and waves, nice atmosphere with lots of locals doing sports, and mountain scenery all around including the Congolese mountains across the lake. The first week we've had cloudy weather most of the time but now I'm finally starting to get some colour. We just had dinner in a random restaurant and it was superb. So far we really like Burundi, pity we don't have time to stay longer.

This is the 35th country I've been to btw, so today I've finally accomplished my goal of having been to more than one country per year of my life on average :)


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