September 20, 2007 IP Trek Group Representing 8 Countries
We are finally together; a team from 8 difference countries.
Berg Adventure’s group is officially on their way, about to drive out to the western edge of Kilimanjaro to begin our trek to climb Africa’s highest mountain. The group has been arriving in Arusha, Tanzania over the last few days.
Alex arrived early and did a successful ascent of mount Meru at the edge of Arusha, Africa’s fifth highest mountain with Berg Adventures guides.
Jim Slattery arrived early and he visited the War Crimes tribunal for the Rwanda genocide at the Arusha conference centre.
Paul Blanchard and Ken Ross arrived in Nairobi, and we sent our driver and guide to pick them up and transfer them to Arusha.
We all have been together since the evening of the 18th.
I am proud of the international IP organization, out of 20; we have a collection of 8 passports; Canadian, Australian, Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany, USA, Spain, Brazil, and of course the great Berg Adventures Tanzanian staff.
I will give lots of reports as the trip goes along, so stay tuned. We will get photographs to you as we can. We will report the comings and goings of the group as it comes and great adventures along the way.
Having set the stage this morning on the 20th giving you information that we are on our way to the mountain to start our 9 day and 8 night trek climb up Kilimanjaro.
I do want to fill you in on what we did on our first full day together - yesterday September 19th. It is all about adventure and surprises, that is what Berg Adventure’s believes in. We were pleased to be able to offer a favorite experience of ours to the IP group. We went for the mount Meru foothills hike at the edge of the city of Arusha. I know the group had no idea what was coming up, we said lets ‘just go for a walk’ and told them ‘by the way bring your sandals.’ Some people listened to that; some didn’t feel they needed them. Soon they knew why.
First we went up to the edge of the city; first we went through village life; not city life where the farming people live right at the edge of Arusha. High in the lush green slopes of mount Meru. We took lunch at a school yard, and walked further into the trees. We walked down into a remote canon and then to a stream. We took off into the stream. Up, across and around corners, through beautiful lush vegetative, tropical type environment, but cool and moderate air temperatures as we walked further in and reached a beautiful spectacular waterfall. Some went in for a dip and some stood and took pictures and marvelled at the beautiful remote area. Hard to believe we were so close to the city. Of course this has nothing to do with Kilimanjaro. We are going to a completely different life zone. I could see a lot of satisfaction as we drove out towards the big mountain after 16 km (10 miles) covered on the foothills of mount Meru, the group seems strong. Getting rid of their airplane legs and getting their hiking legs ready. This will serve them well when we climb Kilimanjaro.
Now it’s about 5 pm, still on the 20th, we are already inside Kilimanjaro National Park over 8,500 ft. The group has moved up the trail, which began at the Lemosho glades. I told them yesterday that today would be one of the longest and most demanding days, because of the travel, as you know we woke up in the hotel as I gave you the dispatch early this morning and drove for 2 .5 hours, did our paper work to enter the Park, took our first group photo, then drove for another hour, hard, demanding roads in our 4 wheel drive at the beginning of the trail head. The group saw the full Berg adventure staff for the first time, and they seemed to be very impressed. Lunch was laid out for us, of course it was nice to sit down and enjoy a lunch in the beautiful forest before we began.
The spirit of the Berg Adventure’s Kilimanjaro program was soon evident when the guides as they were packing up the gear, they began singing and soon the intensity and excitement in their voices and the rhythm were beginning to build.
Trails are beautiful, everyone is in great spirits. Hope you enjoy the photographs as they come. This group is having a great time on Kilimanjaro! Already a great team!
All Text, Images and Audio Files © Berg Adventures International 2007