I rolled into the Wellspring Foundation compound in Kigali at 3.27pm, a whole three minutes ahead of schedule. 30 days and 8 hours, 9,627 Kilometers, ten countries a gadzillion speed bumps [everyone of which has left an impression] and untold police blocks after leaving Cape Town, the Cape2Kigali ride is over.
It was perhaps the most beautiful day of riding yet, a wonderful way to finish. The mountain curves leaving Uganda and coming into Rwanda are a motorcyclists dream and I found myself grinning from ear to ear as each corner opened a whole new vista over lush mountain valleys and spectacular terraced hills. Ah Rwanda, you are almost beyond belief in your beauty.
The grin got even bigger when a motorcyclist shot past me on the other side of the road, pointing right at me. My friend Richard Jelsma had worked out what time I was coming across the border and rode out to meet me, Yep, I had my own motorcycle escort into Kigali.
We shot through the traffic, dodging between vehicles and slipping down side streets, Richard leading the way with ease. I remember when I used to think Kigali traffic was insane, but after you’ve ridden through Nairobi in rush hour and dodged into Bulawayo in the dark, well it wasn’t so bad, And it’s sort of home.
It was a pretty intense experience rounding the final corner and coming into the Wellspring compound, made even more so by the crew of friends and colleagues who were waiting to greet me, complete with cake and welcoming songs. I felt so grateful to be here, be in this place which is so special to me with this wonderful team. And then to spend a few hours this evening sharing it with some great friends who are in town from Vancouver just topped it off.
But what do I say now? I wanted to write a post that summed up all my feelings, that put it all into perspective, but I can’t, not yet. I’m tired, happy, a little more emotional than I let on to people tonight and still a bit overwhelmed by it all. So I think there is one more post for the blog left in me before I leave Rwanda on Monday. I just need a day or two to figure it all out.
In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I’m here, alive and kicking and to thank you for all the lovely comments on the blog, Facebook and email. I’ve felt propelled and lifted up by you all and I deeply appreciate that.
Chat to you more in a day or so. Now, to sleep!