The Hill


Mt Meru

This will be the last blog post for wee while. 6 days, I think. Early tomorrow morning we start climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. No internet up there, nor am I going to carry my MacBook up the hill.

Today is about rest and hydration. I was busy on Wednesday (the Bishoftu excursion) and yesterday (the flight from Addis Ababa), so that suits me well.

Thursday was my first experience of Ethiopian Airlines. Very pleasant. They gave me lunch – no charge. They had 6 or 7 cabin crew on a Boeing 737-700, which is at least double what you’d expect at home. No shortage of drinks rounds (water only, for me). We left slightly late – Italian tourists don’t seem to understand that everyone has sit down on a plane before it leaves. But we arrived on time.

Tanzania is another “first”. (One of my tenets is the question “when was the last time you did something for the first time?”)

Kilimanjaro Airport was a great welcome. In and out in about 5 minutes. I know I was lucky – most of the passengers got off my flight in Mombasa, so only 20-30 had to be fought with in immigration.

Most of them seemed to be novices at this – I had my bags and was away into customs before they’d finished filling in their immigration cards.

“Dahling, where DID you put the yellow fever vaccination certificates?”

It helps to have sharp elbows, and be willing to use them. Trying to be “British” just causes upset.

The hotel (Mount Meru, in Arusha) is ideal. Modern, well designed and great service. Then there’s the fresh local mango and banana for breakfast…

base camp

Another “first” will be going 6 days without a shower while we’re on the mountain. I won’t need my Deet on the way down – mossies beware.

Time for lunch now, I reckon. Then some more rest and hydration.

rest, hydration

© iain taylor 2012

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