It is the second day of the hike – refer back to the map from yesterday. The distance planned is another 10 km with the Tema School Camp as our stopping point for the evening.
Day 2: Wondo to Tema
We begin by traversing between the Kilimanjaro National Park and the local villages, following the sweet-smelling eucalyptus trees planted to demarcate the border. The trail passes above several homesteads and past an ingenious electrical system that uses the water channel. Higher up, the hiking increases in intensity as we pass a dramatic landscape of ridges and deep valleys, all covered by tropical rain forest, home to troops of blue monkeys, which we may see. As you pass through the farms and forests, be sure to ask your SENE guide about his experiences growing up in this mountain environment. Our campsite at a primary school overlooks Moshi Town and the surrounding plain.
Today is a real adventure. For one thing, my brains kicked in on arising. Did I really want to hike another 10 km cross wet and slippery country after a full nights rain? Of course! But realistically it would not be smart.
So after breakfast we set off down the “road” rather than over another hill. The soil here is not the iron rich clay of the SE U.S. But it is just as likely to make you slip and slide. Down is not always easier, but up apparently is not easy on vehicles. After spending about 45 minutes being entertained by six guys vs one truck (the truck was still both not starting and stuck) I figure the truck won.
There is a village half way down the mountain. Looking and watching was honestly just as interesting if not more entertaining than not finding any birds yesterday. And I know know the secret to the women’s skirts. They aren’t skirts but rather long fabric rectangles wrapped in alternating directions and tied in place. The young girls need only a single length to wrap several times around themselves while adults use 2-3 in order to insure no gaps.
Stopping at the one shop/garage/vehicle in the village I waited while more guys went back up the mountain on land cruiser rescue. In case you wonder why we care; first is that everyone seems to help whole the second is that it is “our vehicle” and I would like to see my stuff at tonight’s camp. The fun was the young boys insisting I take their picture. They were thrilled to look at their picture especially when I enlarged it and moved it around so each could see his face.
Vehicle won on this attempt to so we continued down the mountain continually passing girls, boys, fields, farms on the side of the roads. The only people not walking were those waiting for the bus or on the back of a Boda-Boda.
The rest of today’s story is mostly in tomorrow’s post but includes –