Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Rwanda - And accomodation.

The horizon in all directions was an abundance of hills and mountain peaks layered with lush forest, woodlands and farms. The air was hot and dust floated over a city vibrant with colour, sound and movement.  After a cordial, if rather inquisitive, discussion with the custom's official I was with Olivia's family in a Toyota four wheel drive and on our way to the Champion hotel.

The traffic was chaotic and I had no sense of a highway code - rather the imagery of a hoard of elephants plunging through the thick foliage of a jungle left to it's natural laws of growth. Motorcycles carrying fee paying customers whizzed across and around the vehicle as we slowly made our way from the airport to the hotel. 

Ladies in colourful dress meandered gracefully along the roads and some balanced fruit product upon their heads. Some even had little infants wrapped in shrouds across their backs. Men too were everywhere to be seen and also observant to notice everything to be seen. I was white and completely conspicious. I never lost my sense of whiteness. And I never lost this sense of awe. I was in Africa and in Kigali and the sensitivity of my senses elevated and tuned to this wonderful city.

The hotel was located only a few miles from the airport. I had booked the hotel on a popular booking site on the net.  There was some concern that this would not be the most thrifty way to ensure accommodation was in place for my stay.  Some money may have been saved by waiting until arrival before booking a place. I would not recommend this however. You will be asked where you are staying before they allow you through the immigration checks and so an address is required. Also Rwanda is developing and progressing in Africa and there will be world conferences and exhibitions. You may find accommodation difficult to find. I paid 800 US dollars for 11 nights. Any concern that I had overpaid was cast aside on seeing the room - or rather rooms. It was more like an apartment than a hotel room. There was a reception and lounge room separated from the main bedroom. The accommodation had an impressive spa type bath and a great balcony view.

The hotel industry is developing in Rwanda. Those accustomed to western standards of service may be amused but overall we were happy with our stay at the Champion hotel. Don't expect a kettle, biscuits and coffee to be supplied to your room - perhaps this omission was peculiar to this hotel but I do suspect this is normal for hotels in Rwanda. On the other hand you will be supplied with fresh bottled water each day. Don't be tempted to drink the tap water unless you have a fondness for a bout of dysentery.

After such a long flight I was in need of a shower. Although the tap suggested warm water should be available only cold water flowed out.  It took a few days and a few threats of finding alternative accommodation to get this sorted. I felt a little embarrassed about making an issue of this later when I realised that most households don't have freely available running water all day, and certainly not hot water.

The price included breakfast each morning. Breakfast however is no different to lunch.  Don't expect bacon and eggs on toast - I did however have some lovely meat curry dishes for breakfast. You can also order an omelette with a range of ingredients. Fruit and cereal available also. 

The eating and bar section is a great place to relax also in the evening.  There are televisions and often a DJ providing the latest in African popular music. There are outside areas as well as indoor areas. The service was always good and the prices for food and drinks very reasonable.  Security was very good and there was always a guard positioned at the entrance of the hotel.

In the bedroom a huge net hung above the king sized bed.  The net's purpose was to keep mosquitos away. It felt odd - a bit like sleeping in a tent inside a bedroom. I never did quite get used to this sleeping arrangement and quite often I would wake with my head outside the net. One evening before switching the lights off I noticed a little lizard upon the upper section of the net. On closer examination I could see the lizard was actually inside the net. My partner quickly jumped out of the bed, with a squeal. The lizard was removed and we slept soundly.

Overall I felt this hotel was very good value and I would certainly recommend it to anyone desiring a holiday in Rwanda.

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