Kilimanjaro Trek – Getting There Take 2
If the past couple of days are anything to go by, Kilimanjaro isn’t about to give up its secrets or its summit easily. After much stress and worrying, the added cost and time of additional flights and an unexpected visit to Nairobi I (and my luggage) have finally made it to Moshi in Tanzania.
Dubai was stressful and by the time I boarded a new flight out I was tired, hungry and worried about what would happen in Nairobi. The skyline of Dubai was impressive though, dominated by the 828m Burj Khalifa.
Nairobi had never been part of the plan but now I was forced to go there in order to get a flight to Kilimanjaro. I had no idea what had happened to my luggage or how the process of arriving and subsequently departing would be. I wasn’t sure if my luggage would be there and I didn’t fancy my chances on Kilimanjaro without it.
The flight to Nairobi was bumpy all the way as well. We weren’t even allowed out of our seats to go to the toilet, but I’m pleased to say that unlike some people I didn’t once scream! I did however once again have a whole row of seats to myself.
Nairobi Airport was a little stressful and I ended up going through security 4 times. First on the way to the connections desk where I finally found out that my luggage was in Nairobi but that I had to go collect it. So I had to go all the way back, collect my luggage and then go through security again. I then had to go through immigration as I had to leave the terminal to get to another terminal. I therefore had to buy a transit visa for the day. Next I finally left he building with my luggage and had to walk a short distance through the hot, busy streets of Nairobi to another building.
Here there was another security check, semi-undressing and frisking and then off to a check in desk. Hooray, my ticket worked and I once again said goodbye to my luggage. I then headed off to departures which involved another semi-strip and frisking. I made it to the departures area with a bit of time to spare. There was a tiny little plane outside but we got on a bus and headed off to a slightly larger plane and jumped on it.
I think the pilot was in a rush. As soon as were we onboard (there were about 15 of us) the pilot was razzing out into the runway and going for it. We were up in the air in no time. We all had window seats so had quite a good view of Kilimanjaro as we flew past. It was pretty cloudy but the summit was just visible.
Kilimanjaro airport was a simple affair. A quick glance at my visa and passport and I was out. Trek2kili people were there waiting to welcome me. I jumped on the minibus and was told that I’d have a short wait for someone (who I later discovered to be Camilla) who was coming in on a different flight. We waited for her and then drove off towards Moshi with Francis driving and Hussein (one of the guides) next to him. Camilla and I were in the back and got some introductions out of the way and then chatted as we drove through the dusky streets towards Moshi. Market stalls lined the streets in places, dogs roamed around keeping a wary eye out for erratically driven vehicles. There was life everywhere and the usual African chaos.
At the hotel, which was very nice, we met Antonia (Camillas sister) got checked in and the met some other members of the trek2kili team. Camilla and I had a briefing from the guides and a kit inspection and we were good to go.
Good to go for a pizza for me first, and then off to bed after a stressful few days. I’ve made it to Moshi at long last. Perseverance paid off and I could relax.
Tomorrow the real challenge begins. Let’s hope my body can preserve as well. My back is still a little sore, and the bumpy minibus trio didn’t help. I’ll have another hour of that, only bumpier, tomorrow on the way to the Machame Gate at the foot of Kilimanjaro.