Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Dirt roads are like ski runs...
Yesterday I took Steven and Mary’s friend, Helen, out to the TTC for the day. When describing what the road was like for moto riding I found myself thinking in terms of ski runs. The route from Rwamagana to Nzige can best be described as a blue run. Not as challenging as the deadly black, but not exactly an easy green route either. It has a few horrid hills and twisty turns but most of it is fairly bearable. Helen coped admirably well with this blue route after only one week and a bit of moto riding, in fact much better than the first time I tried it where I fell off. This was in spite of having slightly over zealous moto drivers, or in my case the third moto in a row which ran out of petrol (fortunately it did just about make it this time), I think I must be cursed.
The road from Nzige to Kabuga is a green run. Even though it is long the road is fairly flat and wide. Now as a TTC volunteer I mostly manage to avoid the black runs as I seldom do school visits, but most of the district based volunteers have to contend with these on their way to remote schools and I must say, they sound terrifying. On these routes, you may well have to get off and walk part of it, you may suffer the indignity of the muddy fall or the prolonged, bone shaking jarring of very rough and stony patches. They are not to be attempted on your first ever moto ride by the way. But I guess they are satisfying if you arrive at your destination still intact.
However even green runs can become a challenge if you are trying to carry a ridiculous amount of luggage with you as I have found. Today I tried to balance no fewer than 100 big rice sacks on the back of the moto. The pile weighed several kilos and took up so much space that my backside was wedged on the uncomfortable metal bit right on the back of the seat. Now this was ok on the flat bits but as we went uphill I could feel a nice half moon shaped bruise being formed. Now I don’t want anyone to say that I don’t suffer for my profession!