September 29, 2007 – Weary Legs and Soaring Spirits at Mweka

Happy successful team

One the morning of the 29th we awoke on those thick air mattresses not believing how deeply once can sleep in the “thick air” of 3000 meters at the top for the forest on Kili.        

Angel from the BAI office came to Mweka to welcome the teamOur descent through the final forest trail to the park gate and the road back to civilization took all morning, but before we knew it we were walking past the vehicles parked at the road’s end.  Near the wardens office where all groups must sign out, Berg Adventures had set up a farewell lunch.  Angel from the office was there as well as a band to help the group and the porters get in the mood to celebrate a completely successful climb.

Cold “Kilimanjaro Beers” were enjoyed as we shed our packs, the dusty trail equipment and got ready to return to Arusha for showers.

Susan Kasper and Alison Hackett joined the group of dirty, smelly but proud climbers coming off the mountain. 

Before we loaded on to the vehicles for the ride back, about 180 envelopes with tip money from the group for our porters and our wonderful BAI staff were distributed.  The band continued playing, and everyone was dancing, celebrating and just drinking in the colorful rich ambiance of the Mweka gate trailhead.  Our final hours together as a climbing team and staff were savored.

We brought a band to help the staff and the team get in the mood to celebrate a successful climb Back at the Arusha Hotel, our dirty duffel bags from the mountain filled the lobby while the hotel staff located our clean clothes and toiletries.  While we were having dinner, David, Maji and Paul, the three Berg Adventures safari guides who will be leading IP Treks wildlife safari adventures beginning tomorrow, dropped by to welcome everyone back.   They also told us to be ready at 8:00 AM tomorrow. 

Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, and the wilds of Serengeti await most of the group in the coming days.  As we depart on this next adventure, and as some of us return directly to our homes, the accomplishments, great companionship and adventure of our Kilimanjaro climb will remain in our hearts. 

Jim dancing with our staff

Ken enjoying the lunch buffet we had prepared for them at the trail head

John, Catherine, Carlos and Katie drinking some Cold “Kilimanjaro Beers”

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