The most efficient border crossing of the trip brought us into Rwanda. Even at the border post the change was apparent - Rwanda proved to be clean and completely free of any visible litter! Rolling hills and winding, good tar brought us into Kigali where one can get a taxi scooter to anywhere in the city for under R15 - the cities most prevalent public transport system. The country has a strong police and army presence and feels very safe. Our Bush fix of our broken brake master pin got us to Rwanda where we swapped it out with a Bearmach replacement.
We spent a day installing new parts to Agnes in the parking lot of a hostel and by early evening we had good brakes for the first time in 10,000km. A concert was being held at the hostel and hundreds of people had passed Agnes, chatting and asking questions. Once finished, we went straight to front stage still in our greasy clothes from the days work.
Back to reality - for some
Harry and Jon Jon had a week left before they had to return to jobs and reality, so we headed for Nyungwe National Park and Lake Kivu, Rwanda’s main attractions. More twisting, well tarred roads brought us into a thick canopied forest where soldiers were stationed on every other corner, standing alone in heavy camo raincoats, holding automatic rifles in the rain. It was an ominous feeling seeing them blend into their surroundings. We discovered that they are stationed here to monitor and prevent illegal activity within the forest. We exited the forest into a landscape of soft, rolling tea plantations perfectly cultivated in neat rows as high as the often steep slopes would allow.
It is illegal to remove a tea plant in Rwanda once planted and doing so can result in imprisonment. Once back in Kigali, we got back into a brief routine of good coffee and food, enjoying the last few days of Harry and Jon Jon’s trip. They were due back in South Africa and Mitch would drive Agnes back, along with his dad who was flying in a week later.
The adventure of a lifetime
The three of us, Mitch, Jon Jon and Harry had become close over the three-month trip and we reminisced on our last few days with Agnes of how we had crammed so much into the action packed adventure which we knew would still be a talking point late into our lives. The fact of having done it in such a unique 50-year old vehicle gave the trip an edge in memory. Agnes inspired all kinds of different reactions from people. Police officers often stopped us, apparently just genuinely curious and waved us on after asking us about our trip and the vehicle. Other locals looked at Agnes with furrowed brows and flared nostrils in confusion or huge smiles, whistling and laughing as we drove by and in smaller villages, some ran in fear! Sometimes crowds would gather around Agnes, pondering over the route on our map or our “voodoo doll” on the bumper.
The Docking Station
And that's the end of our African adventure. Agnes is currently having an off the grid house built around her called 'the docking station'. Agnes is the bedroom and the kitchen with the bathroom and living area being build on the deck with a greenhouse and a workshop on either end. For updates, head over to our Instagram where you can see everything unfold!