August 4th – Beginning a new adventure

Through the mud on the way to Machame gateThe August 2003 Berg Adventures Machame route Kilimanjaro climb is under way. This morning we took the group photo by our safari vehicles, with Carlos and Prosper, well known to BAI as excellent safari guides in the past and we drove the muddy roads to the Machame Gate and began our trip.

As we left in the morning, Michael and Jean Ayers were still pinching themselves with the excitement of actually being in Africa after months of planning and training for this trip.

Frank and Woody who had arrived a couple of days early and have been relaxing in Arusha were equally as excited to go; David McCord, had also arrived a day early although he arrived on a KLM flight one day ahead of his bag. He was calm and relaxed the whole time about his bags and enjoyed a safari to Arusha National Park. Fortunately Carlos and Prosper got his luggage last night and he was excited about not only being in Africa but being reunited with all his gear.

Fiona has travelled to meet us from Toronto where she lives, her home being originally Australia via Dar Es Salaam and she had also arrived in Arusha a day early. As David had done, she had also gone on a short day-safari drive in Arusha National Park. She had left Toronto with her gear purchased under the expert guidance of Larry Crozier; it seems like they both had a lot of fun buying gear there.

Jeff Boscamp and Nick did their jet lag recuperation days in Amsterdam with the rest of their family, Yuki and Emi, Nick’s mum and sister, who will be joining us at the end of the trip for our flight to Serengeti and our 6-day safari after we do the climb.

Our BAI Kili team ready to head outAnd of course Barbara Wentworth is with us. Barbara is completing the 13th fitness destination and this program has been under way at the Magee Elementary in Wells, Wisconsin since 1991. I know the students and a lot of people on that community are excited to see about Barbara’s adventures as she carries out this project and certainly to all the students at Kettle Moraine School are going to be watching daily as we describe our adventures and accomplishments on this climb and safari in Tanzania.

We are calling you now, from a 9800 peak at the top of the forest, we already made it up here, and we walked through the rain and the mud as we always do and arrived at the top of the forest and the trail very abruptly got dry as we came into our camp. Amazingly, in spite of all those clouds we have seen lower, as we stepped up to the highest level just before camp, Kibo, or the main summit and the glaciers of Kilimanjaro, came into view and we were all very excited. I thought that was an amazing sign that we had actually seen it at that point in the trip already.

We arrived about 6:45pm in camp and of course the staff had everything set up and we began to move into our camp and relax, but now I am calling you with the moon rising over Kilimanjaro and brilliant stars coming into the sky, we are tired but excited to be under way.

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