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Finding a room on the verge of curfew violation

Finding a room on the verge of curfew violation

In the middle of my tour of Musanze, something came up. I had to rush to Karongi. I had toured Karongi before I headed to Musanze but I still had unfinished business there.

After a busy day in Karongi, I traveled back to the north through Nyabihu. I made it to downtown Musanze a few minutes before the curfew, put in place to slow down the spread of Covid- 19, took effect.

I had spent the previous night at My Hill Ecolodge found on the shore of Lake Ruhondo. The plan was to spend one more night there but I ran out of time. There is no way I could make it there without violating the regulations.

Curfew time caught up with me right outside Migano Hotel. Was this a coincidence? I checked in, took a warm shower and slept like a baby.

It wasn’t my first time there. The first time was March 2020, a couple of days before the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Rwanda. I had dropped some visitors at 2 a.m. at a different location within Musanze. I wanted to grab some coffee and drive back to Kigali but I couldn’t find any coffee vendor at that time. Instead, I resorted to a caffeinated energy drink.

While sitting on a revolving counter chair in a night club, I gulped some Red Bull hoping to grow wings and fly to Kigali. Yes, I went to the club. Where else could I find something to drink at 3 a.m. in Musanze?

I hadn’t slept in 24 hours. The effect of sleep deprivation was taking a toll on my body. Even the energy drink I consumed barely kicked in. The right thing to do was to find the nearest comfortable guest house and get some much-needed sleep. That’s how I ended up at Migano on that mid-March morning.

Five hours and a few dreams later, I was re-energized. On my way back to Kigali, I was informed that one of the guests I had driven to Musanze was exhibiting Covid symptoms. I had picked him up from the airport the night before. He jetted in from New York, a Covid hotspot at the time. This happened when passengers were not subjected to PCR tests and quarantines upon arrival.

After consultations with the relevant authorities, the visitor in question was tested but his results came after 24 long hours. Luckily, he tested negative. As mentioned earlier, this happened a couple of days before the first case was confirmed in Rwanda but the fear of the novel coronavirus was at boiling point.

Spending the night at Migano has never been part of my itinerary but circumstances made me end up there. Not once, but twice. Both times, I slept like a baby.

The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Musanze is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, The Peakspot Lodge, My Hill Ecolodge, Migano Hotel, Volcanoes Residence, Crema Cafe, Ndaza Escape, Beyond the Gorillas Experience (BGE) and Exposure Digital.

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