25 – Underground Musanze

25 – Underground Musanze

After visiting the cultural village, our motorbike friends drove us back down the meandering roads to Musanze. We passed hundreds of bicycles loaded with people, several crates of beer, large sacks of potatoes or a combination of the three! The roads were lovely and smooth, it was wonderful to feel the wind on our faces as we whizzed by the world.

Our drivers left us in town where we treated ourselves to a three-course meal on La Paillotte’s terrace.

On our way back to our Airbnb, we were followed by two students wanting to improve their English. At first we were cautious, but the boys turned out to be lovely and very chatty. Seeing as they aspire to work in the tourism industry, we thought they could help us out. Having done our homework before going to Musanze, we knew that there were caves in the area, several of which have been taken over by the government and turned into tourist traps. At 50USD per person, they were not worth visiting. We asked the boys if they knew of the “free caves”. They did. We were in luck – they were offering to take us there, just a “ten-minute walk away”.

The ten-minute walk turned out to be an hour walk away. We were super-hot and sweaty and as we had not planned to visit the caves that day; were totally unprepared for our visit. After walking down little back streets, we finally arrived at a hole in the ground. It could not have been more than a metre wide. We plunged ourselves down the hole, knowing full well we would not be able to change our minds once inside (the ground was too high from the cave floor to scamper back up). At first it was more of a rubbish-filled-burrow than a cave. We plodded a little further with difficulty as our phones pathetically lit up the unstable rocks beneath our feet. Pity our headtorch was at the Airbnb!

The entrance to the cave

Our “guides” led us further into the cool, refreshing tunnel. The cave began to reveal its grandeur. A natural skylight gave way to vines and plants. It looked like a lair from the Jungle Book.

The site was not entirely wild: we climbed some stairs, crossed a herbal garden and entered a second cave. At one point we could no longer see any daylight.

It was fun exploring the caves, though we will never really know if it was entirely allowed. The fact that our guides steered us away from a couple of soldiers above ground, would suggest not. We were glad to have met our friendly guides and pleased to have visited some local caves without paying an arm and a leg. We crossed the maize fields, tipped our guides and trudged back home (after a very fun, long and tiring day!).

4 Replies to “25 – Underground Musanze”

  1. You must give each other such immense confidence and have such trust and belief that you will be OK to be able to plunge down holes, knowing full well you will not be able to change your mind once inside”. And marvelous things happen. This is a great gift and I rejoice that you have it. It is said that live us the opposite if fear. I think you two embody that, another very inspirational blog with beautiful pictures. Thank you. I know you gang warily, but I am glad you find and draw out trustworthy people like your motorbike friends and your trainee guides. Your path has been full of such treasures – may it continue thus. Xxxx

  2. Lovely pic’s ❤️ the ⭕️ frames.
    Very relieved there was solid ground, light once down and a way back too. Where to next? Take care . 🤗 Lxx

  3. That sounded pretty hair raising!! Obviously we knew it would be OK as you had survived but not sure how well I’ll sleep tonight!! Keep ’em coming!!
    G Ma xxx xxx

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