While navigating a new route, I neither used GPS nor consulted Google maps. I wanted to find my destination the old-school way: Tracking down landmarks and asking for directions.
I was going to My Hill Ecolodge in Gashaki Sector, Musanze District. The first time I visited the place, I rode along the Musanze - Cyanika road before taking a right turn at a small village known as Gahunga in Burera District. Then I pursued an exhilarating off-road trail to Ntaruka hydropower plant. From there, I boarded a boat and sailed to My Hill on the Musanze side of Lake Ruhondo.
This time around, I reached Gashaki through Gacaca and Remera sectors. From downtown Musanze, I followed a trail elevating gradually through Mukungwa hydropower plant. Along the way, I saw the source of Mukungwa River.
There is a network of trails connecting different communities in the districts of Musanze, Gakenke, Burera and Gicumbi. Some crossroads confused me a little bit. It’s easy to get lost.
I remember stopping and asking for directions a few times. Most of the time, I relied on landmark tracking, human compasses and instincts. The lake served as the most reliable landmark. Since My Hill is a lakeside property, all I needed to do was stick to the path that was closer to the shoreline than the rest.
When I saw the Gashaki Sector signpost, I knew I was on the right track. It is at this point when I set my eyes on the most imposing landmark in the area. I am talking about a giant volcano namely Muhabura.
Historically, Muhabura was our forefathers’ ultimate landmark. This massive elevation used to lead their steps back home after trading or waging wars in the neighboring kingdoms. Muhabura was the guiding star that never faded. It directed the lost and revitalized the weary while solving dilemmas caused by confusing crossroads.
When I made it to My Hill, I saw all the five volcanoes straddling Rwanda’s northwestern border. That was a sight to behold.
The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @GeoExposure