I’m happy to report that I landed in Moshi late last night. It’s been a long trek simply to get here. Fortunately I have an unscheduled rest day to get oriented and adjust to the time zone. I am now 11 hours ahead of my home on the west coast of Canada. That makes it a little difficult to connect with ‘Base Camp’ there and even more so due to the sporadic Wifi here. (I’m hoping to get this note through before the connection fails again.)
My KLM flight arrived at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) well past dark. All I could see was the span of lights against the dark landscape as we approached. Surely the white cap of Mount Kilimanjaro would be visible but it was not. There was a mass jumble of people at the airport and some uncertainty as to which line to go through but I was very glad that I had planned ahead and obtained a VISA beforehand. Those applying for same at the airport faced the longest line up of all. After being photographed and fingerprinted, I was allowed entry. Despite some unsettling concerns, my luggage arrived but notably was one of the last pieces on the last luggage trolley to arrive off the flight that was continuing onto Dar Es Salam.
Just as Jaime of Tusker Trails had promised, Peter was there to greet me with a big Tusker sign as I exited the terminal. He wisely advised that I prepare for the 50 minute ride to Moshi by visiting the washroom first (located outside the terminal). For the second time since I arrived, the power failed and this was much more inconvenient than the initial power outage inside the terminal building. Complete blackness in an unfamiliar building, confused by lack of sleep, vision hampered by dry contact lenses and before being able to get my bearings…Oh my. Definitely could use my headlamp at that moment and now appreciate the wisdom of the woman who wore hers as she deplaned. I don’t think she was a first time visitor to the area.
The darkness and lack of street lights meant that I could not really appreciate the scenery as we drove to Moshi. However, the stark white DANGER sign painted on the road stood out in the headlights. Not sure what particular danger lay ahead and as I did not really want to know I did not inquire.
A quick meeting with Faheem from Tusker at the Bristol Cottages and a snack of vegetarian samosas and I was off to bed in my little cottage room, complete with mosquito net. (A real photo moment for Rick Mercer’s ‘Spread The Net’ campaign back in Canada.)
Anxious now to simply get on with getting up that ‘hill’. Tomorrow is gear check day. Monday, we climb…