Day 2: December 29, 2013
This is the second day in Moshi. It will be spent acclimatizing, getting to know team members and fully assessing what lies ahead. What I forgot to mention, however, is that Moshi’s time zone is 11 hours ahead so days will be completely flipped. Temperatures will also average 32 degrees (Celsius) in Moshi versus the more moderate seaside weather of 6 degrees on Canada’s west coast. If not for these couple days of adjustment in Moshi, I could be facing a day’s climb when my body is normally set for bed and unaccustomed to temperatures rarely seen even during the summer at home. One other consideration is simply the travel time to get to Tanzania.
I am scheduled to depart from the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on the afternoon of December 25th, Christmas Day. I must say, though, that as the date of departure approaches, it is becoming difficult to consider leaving loved ones at that time of year. It is a very long story behind the decision which led to a Christmas departure but what we did not realize at the time of booking was that my husband would be retired from a seafaring career by then, which will give us an opportunity to start building Christmas traditions together from now on. What is certain, however, is that this will undoubtedly be a holiday period that neither of us is likely to forget anytime soon. It will also mean that I will conclude this journey and depart Tanzania on my mother’s birthday, January 11th. With her memory as the motivating force behind this trip and the fundraising efforts under Kili Climb for Life, it seems very fitting and an appropriate conclusion to this endeavour.
The travel from YVR will take me to Amsterdam (AMS) arriving 9 ½ hours later and a time zone which is 9 hours ahead of my home base. I will then have almost 24 hours in Amsterdam – on my own – before continuing on to Tanzania. I have found a lovely family-run hotel in Amsterdam, The Toren, to spend the night and have made reservations for a late Christmas dinner nearby. I hope to spend the earlier part of the day visiting Anne Frank’s house and gaining a sense of the history of the area before leaving for Tanzania the next morning.
The flight from AMS to the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) will entail another 8 ½ to 9 hour flight, arriving in yet another time zone, a further two hours ahead, for a total of 11 hours ahead of home. In the distance, Kilimanjaro will be looming large, reminding us of the challenge ahead. This last day in Moshi will be spent checking our gear list twice and ensuring we are packed and ready for the following morning’s departure. A quick lunch and dinner offsite from Bristol Cottages will be our final indulgence before we begin life on the trail and leave behind the comforts of a cozy bed and refreshing shower.