It’s standard practice on these super-fine dusty roads to close windows when you see a vehicle approaching from the other direction. Otherwise you’ll end up covered in fine red dust. But if your bus is missing two very large windows, you can be assured you’ll arrive at your destination like you spent the day in a coal mine. Or a dirt mine. A red dirt mine. Which would be a dumb thing to mine, but you get the point.
So, about seven hours on this bus—a duration that’s now feeling like a walk in the park. Hit a tarmac road at that point and got in a group taxi two hours to the Rwanda border, with a local teenager on my knee like a ventriloquist dummy. Easy border crossing over an eight-food-wide bridge above Rusumu Falls and into Rwanda, a cozy two-hour van ride into downtown Kigali.