Part One – Kilimanjaro Expedition

I went to Kilimanjaro thinking I will be taking notes and writing my journal on a daily basis. I even brought a book to read. Guess what, I didn’t really have time for any of that…

I was the first one from my group to arrive to Kilimanjaro Int’l airport. When I arrived, nobody was there waiting for me. All other passengers were picked up, but me, I was still waiting outside the airport surrounded by a group of local taxi drivers offering to their services. At one point, all lights went down at the airport and I thought this is it, they are closing the airport…

Luckily, my Italian phone was working and I called the hotel to find out if anyone is coming to pick me up. Yes, the driver was on his way!! Few minutes later, I was in the taxi, happy. Our hotel was about 50km away from the airport — very close to the Machame Route trailhead.It was a beautiful hotel, with a swimming pool, surrounded by banana trees and monkeys playing in them…

(Sorry, no monkeys in the picture…)

Inside the hotel..

When I arrived to the hotel, the guides (one local and one British) of my group was already there. They told me that I was the first one to arrive. So, the airport wasn’t closed! The rest of the group arrived much later, I didn’t see them until the next morning.

We had breakfast, got briefing from our British guide, and went back to our rooms to pack and leave. Of course, I have to be the last one to be ready — I couldn’t find things I thought I had (eg.  sun cream). Everything I bought to this trip, was new to me… I had a new backpack with so many pockets — I couldn’t remember where I placed all that stuff… This is what happens when you decide to go on a trip with one and a half week notice.

Still packing…

Anyway, I was able to find all my items and get down with 15 min delay… Next, we got on the safari type van and took off for the Machame Route (which means “Whiskey Route” )  trail head.

Getting off the van…

Beginning of the Machame Rout (Heather’s photo)

Looking at the map (Heather’s photo)

Really? This is what it takes?

On the road (Heather’s photo)

Reaching first camp on day one…

We’ll be sleeping in tents for the next six days…

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