Day 3 From one school camp to another – a distance of 12 km
Day 3: Tema to Kidia
After a night camped at 1900 meters, the trail proceeds through several colorful mountain villages and their coffee and maize farms, as well as rivers where you can refresh in the cool and crystal clear water. Our destination, Kidia Village, is the site of the first European settlement in the Kilimanjaro region. There are many large Catholic and Lutheran churches on the mountain, each with its own story of missionary work among the Chagga people. Our last camp is at another primary school high up the mountain.
If you want to be inconspicuous, I strongly recommend NOT hiking along an African road. Not if you are middle aged (hey, I can’t claim senior stats till this fall) and are a white woman wearing hiking pants. Add in a mid 30s African guide with the backpack and you are starting to get the picture. Neither Dr Livingston nor inconspicuous.
These were some of my thoughts yesterday as we hiked down the “main” road through a number of villages be arriving at a major paved road. And it was raining again, which should come as no surprise. There were typical shops and stands lining the road along with Bodas waiting for their next fare.
It was somewhere around km 16-18 that we met up with our vehicle and faced the next challenge. Remember rain? The ground here is red clay. Slippery. After numerous tries it became obvious that it was going to be roads = 1 car+people = 0. A decision was made that it was smarter just to move on to the next camp than slide off the mountain in the dark. And so it was that we stayed 2 nights at camp three.
This morning we hike about ½ way back along the normal day three route.
We made a second trip out to see one valley and waterfall.
There is a woodworker and blacksmith in the local village keeping Chagga traditions alive.
I also met the local nurse who runs the government clinic. Unlike in the Western World, her scope of practice includes full OB, well baby, suturing, circs, malaria care, and what ever else her village needs.