Kilimanjaro Foothills

The route

The route

Klick on the map if having it a bit bigger would be a help.

Today I am being picked up around 0830 and heading out on a planned four day hike. It is a point to point ending at the Kilimanjaro View Camp. The distance today isn’t all that long (10 km) and I have separated out what I will need for the four days from everything else. I don’t need all that much (other than my sleeping bag, bug spray and towel thank you very much) and don’t see why anyone would want to haul it along.

The following quote comes directly from NomadicExpeditions  website

Day 1:  Mweka to Wondo

Morning pick-up from your hotel and vehicle transfer to the trailhead.  We begin the walk on a lower trail used by villagers to access their fields, passing through villages and into the forest. We cross many rivers on small wood bridges or on steady rocks to reach the other side. There are a number of marvelous traditional irrigation channels, most in use for more than a century, to irrigate the mountain farm plots. From the Rau River valley and the waterfall at its head we have a final steep ascent to camp.

Reality with pictures:

Me and my jelly legs staggered into camp about 1600.  The scenery was incredible and the rain held off till after we made camp. I’ll deal with photos (and the view from here) once I feel alive again.
I think it is time that I look in the mirror in the morning and acknowledge my age, disposition and the fact that jogging on a treadmill in no way prepares you for scrambling up and down narrow slippery paths. We will not talk about inability to stay on boulders while crossing a stream or the resultant wet feet from soaked shoes and socks.
This 10 km was comparable in fact to the 65 km I did with three friends back in 1983.  Second day of a 200km hike around the Canton of Turgau. It rained all day while we hiked from sea level to 1000 meters six times. But since it was Switzerland there were trails, benches and trash bins.
Here it is pack it in pack it out. No roads, only the occasional foot trail as we wound up and down “hills” and valleys through rain forest. Instead of the predicted 3-4 hours under way it was more like 6 with a lot of rest stops that last uphill climb. Two stops made sense – I now have another porcupine quill. The other in a high meadow was to watch three children run amazing patterns with a hoop and stick. They live one hill away, my guide was informed. Lots of people live up here with small houses and hand managed fields right up to the edge of the national park.
I have my own tent complete with air mattress.  My sleeping bag is calling me.


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