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Title image - BAI takes you to:  Kilimanjaro
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Kilimanjaro Expedition Dispatch

July 15, 2009 – Farewell Kilimanjaro and on to the Culture Tour

View of Kilimanjaro from Mweka Camp

View of Kilimanjaro from Mweka Camp

Good morning it’s Marjorie checking in for July 13, 14, and 15th.

I’ll start with July 13t.h. After waking in the freezing cold we hiked all the way to Mweka camp down to 10,000 ft. We hiked down the hill almost to Kosovo camp and hiked to Mweka camp where we spent the night. It’s much warmer and I felt on top of the world even my legs are cooperating. It’s an early night so we can get ready for the morning descent to Mweka gate and farewell to Kilimanjaro.

Back into the moorland and rain forest, trail to the Kili gates. The air is thick and the weather is warm!

Back into the moorland and rain forest,

trail to the Kili gates. The air is

thick and the weather is warm!

Tuesday, July 14: hiking day 9. We were off early and we were sent on our way by the entire team singing and dancing us out of our campsite. This is movie material. Julius pointed out, and names many vegetation varieties as we cross over the moorland into the rainforest again and catch a magnificent view of Kilimanjaro through the trees. It is breath taking. We reach the gate and there’s another “experience “as Julius would say, waiting for me. There were many buses and people moving about and we are spotted by our team who reached the gate ahead of us. They rushed over to take my poles, my back pack, put a refreshing drink into my hand, and a cultural lay was put around my neck. We were swept away towards our BBQ area by song and dance. People along the way were clapping and joining in. I’m blown away. There is a chair waiting for me and another refreshing drink and congratulations all around. After the BBQ we said our final goodbyes as we boarded the bus to Arusha to have hot showers, and I thought that sleeping in the crater was the best (funny). We arrived in Arusha, got checked in and I checked out for the night. So tired, so happy.

Wednesday, July 14 - Culture day 1: I was picked up at the Arusha hotel promptly by 9am by my driver Jeremiah, and Elias who is my guide. We drove to Marangu and our first stop was a black smith’s shop where I saw an actual spear being made with charcoal and a hammer. Then we moved on to the underground caves where the people fled to the caves to hide many years ago. It was a challenge for me, a very cloister phobic person, but I made it quite far down. I am truly amazed and delighted to re surface. Next, we moved to view a traditional Chagga home which I enjoyed very much.

A short trip to the waterfalls to watch jumpers, this isn’t for me. To top that, we drove half way up a huge hill over a very bumpy road then exited the car to climb the rest of the way to visit a monument to a first missionary which is much like Mount Royal Montreal. The ocean looked very different from way up here. After all that it was time to get to our hotel as it was an activity packed day. It’s now time to unwind and take a reality check. That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next two days.