Jambo! (Swalli greeting)
Michele here…we are currently in Zanzibar, an island off of Tanzania (in Eastern Africa). How we got here is another adventure that we will relay later. For now, I will tell you about our Mt. Kilimanjaro adventure.
After we got back from the safari, we needed a few days to recoup from days and days of camping and being covered in dirt. We paid the staff at our hotel to hand wash our clothes in a bucket (that’s the way clothes washing is done here) and we made our plans for our Kilimanjaro Trek. We decided to go with a different company than the one we used for the safari because we were concerned about the equipment we would use for the trek. Climbing “kili” as it is called is no joke and we needed top quality tents, sleeping bags, boots, and a whole lot more. Since our Land Rover safari vehicle ran out of gas due to the gas gauge being broken and we froze in our sleeping bags one night, we had concerns about the equipment provided by Nature Beauties. We had heard good things about Good Earth’s equipment so we decided to go with them. We met with the company representative and he had a checklist of what was needed for the trek. Hmmm….ah, yea, well, you see, we are on a trip around the world and we don’t have many things on that check list. So, the next day 3 guys showed up at our hotel, including our Kilimanjaro guide, with 3 huge bags of clothes and a bag of boots. We rented:
2 sleeping bags
2 pairs of hiking boots
2 heavy down jackets
2 pairs fleece pants
2 pairs rain pants
2 medium weight fleece pullovers
3 pairs of socks
2 sets of treking poles
2 pairs heavy waterproof gloves
1 pair googles
The next morning, on Thurs, Nov 3, we were picked up at the hotel and saw that the car contained 6 porters including our guide. Then we drove 1.5 hours to the Machame gate and picked up 2 additional porters for our Kilimanjaro trek. (Note that there are many routes. We chose the Machame route because we could camp for 6 days instead of staying in huts and because it is reportedly the most beautiful of all the routes.) There is no fresh water and no showers on Mt. Kilimanjaro. All our water was collected from streams and boiled and Paul, our cook, made us great camping meals, sack lunches to take with us each day, and lots of snacks, while Floreane was our “waiter” (the guy who served us food while we were in the “restaurant” tent).
With our guide and 7 porters, we started up the mountain. Our 6 day schedule with pictures and descriptions is below: