June 17, 2007 Should We Go To the Waterfall?
It’s Sunday afternoon on June 17th and I’m calling you at about 6000 feet (1830m) above sea level above the city of Arusha. We are on our hike that we like to call the Mount Meru foothills hike. We always do this hike on the first day of a Berg Adventures Kilimanjaro trip to stretch our legs and get used to the idea of walking again after a lot of international travel. But more than anything else to see the village life and people who live in this beautiful area.
We are walking along with about five Berg Adventures guides right now. We left the elegance of the Arusha hotel this morning after a really nice Sunday morning buffet breakfast and then we drove a short distance to begin our hike.
It’s a beautiful day, full of color from the dresses that the women wear, and the relaxed Sunday atmosphere is really nice. People are just getting home from church now and here at this village we stopped at, there are a lot of kids kicking around a would be soccer ball, nothing that is even inflated just a bundle of various things that will roll along. The local kids are having a lot of fun playing soccer.
This is about acclimatization for us but it is also about a chance for us to be together. Above us up in the clouds is Mount Meru just peaking through from time to time at 15,500 feet (4720m) above sea level, a beautiful day.
Later that day
You know, it’s still Sunday but I decided to call you back because now in the evening we are down off the Mount Meru trail. Our day had not even begun when I called you before. The guides looked over at me during our picnic lunch and said ‘should we go to the waterfall?’, and I looked around at this group and said yeah they would love to see the waterfall.
So after I last talked to you we continued up the trail higher and higher and the villages got more remote. We visited a typical boma, or hut, where we went inside. There was a lot of smoke which I think caught Caroline off guard the first time she went in one. The village people were very friendly and we all enjoyed being there.
Then we continued along and dropped down into a steep and beautiful forested gorge. We took our shoes off and the guides had brought some sandals just in case we did this, so we put on the sandals and began to wade through a very narrow, beautiful, green gorge. The group loved it! They couldn’t believe they were seeing such beauty right on the edge of Arusha.
Finally we reached the giant, spectacular waterfall, which was our goal, and then we walked back down through the banana groves past the villages where people waved goodbye to us. What a great first day of walking.
Tomorrow we will go to Kilimanjaro and we will begin our trip on the mountain. Be sure to stay tuned as we will be sending dispatches about our adventures every day as we make our way up Kilimanjaro.
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