Day 8: Saturday 5th October 2019
10:45pm – Weru Weru River Lodge
Packing this morning was quite difficult, it takes ages in the tent to think about what you need and what should be packed, not helped by the amount of stuff I have got. The group wanted to set off as early as possible so breakfast was quite quick. We expected to start the walk at 6:30am. However, there is a tradition at the end of every camp that the porters and the guides sing the Kilimajaro motivation song. The chorus words in Swahili are:
“Jambo, Jambo Bwana (Hello, Hello Sir), Habari, Habari Gani (How are you?), Nzuri, Nzuri Sana (very well), Waseni Mwakaribishwa (Foreigners you are welcome), Kilimajaro, Hakuna Matata” (Kilimanjaro there is no problem).
We were filmed doing the dance which was later posted on Twitter.
The 14K walk down was hard and seemed to go on forever. We were all shattered. Most of the walk was through rainforest which was absolutely beautiful. We saw a blue monkey but it was difficult to get a photograph. It was all downhill and even with lengthened walking poles it was hard going.
We arrived at Mweke Gate at 12:30pm. Three of the lads from our group had gone ahead to sort out the permits. They had actually arrived at 10:30am and started on the Kilimanjaro beer. I inadvertently ended up paying a $5 tip for someone to clean my boots and gaiters!
After buying T-shirts and other souvenirs we got on to the minibus to the Weru Weru River Lodge in Moshi, a 45 minute drive. They drive on the left in Tanzania but driving skills leave something to be desired. The driver decided to overtake a bus and a lorry even though there was another bus coming on the opposite carriageway – a hair raising moment.
The hotel is lovely. There are a number of lodges housing 4 suites each and lucky me, I’ve got one to myself. We had lunch as our bags had not arrived from the other hotel (we had left some stuff behind), I had no option but to go a buy a new dress, flip flops and jewellery from the hotel shop. I spent far too much but hey ho!
I wanted a swim but it started to rain heavily and hasn’t stopped. The hotel has four resident camels, (yes camels) and it is $5 a ride. I didn’t bother though I have photos of two of the lads camel riding. There are also two resident (huge) tortoises, one of which is painted the colour of the Tanzanaian flag.
We had a celebratory meal in the restaurant which was attended by Jimmy, the Doc and another guide Derek whom I hadn’t really got to know. It was a shame the other guides couldn’t come – I suspect hotel meals are very expensive for them as they are clearly for western tourists (one of the blokes in the group bought 3 bic razors for $20!).
There was a medal for each of us the dinner table from Global Adventure Challenges (GAC). After dinner – which was a similar quality to the food on the mountain – we were all presented with a certificate. We learned that we were the only GAC team in which the whole group had got to the top. The drop out rate, it seems is anything between 10% and 40%.
Most of the group are still partying but I am absolutely cream crackered therefore early to bed. Pick up for the airport is 12 noon tomorrow for the 15:55 flight to Qatar. I hope we don’t spend any more unplanned time in Doha!
The flights back went absolutely fine. Kili airport was a bit chaotic, one of our group managed to get though with a camelbak full of water (not on purpose). We stopped for about an hour in Dar es Salaam and arrived at Doha midnight ish. We landed at Heathrow at 9am and managed to get the 10am direct coach back to sunny Sheff.
The trip to Kilimanjaro was amazing, fantastic, wonderful and the team at Ahsante tours could not have done any more for us.
It is not to late to make a donation and congratulate Lucy for her incredible achievement. Should you wish, you can make a donation here