Friday, January 15, 2010

Kilimanjaro 2010 Day One Morning

Woke up at 6:00 AM and took shower. There's a switch on the wall to turn on the water heater, but I discovered it only takes a few minutes to make enough for a shower.

I filled two Nalgene's (1 liter water bottles) from the bathroom sink and then used my Steri-Pen to treat them. I love it, since I can go to most places and get "free" water.

I ate breakfast at the really good breakfast bar (included with room) with goodies like made to order eggs, potatoes, sausages, fruit, toast, etc. I loaded up on carbs since I've learned to treasure this "last civilized meal".

Checked out, stored my extra bag, and waited around, got nervous, so another 1.5 liter water and filled my platypus with it, and then got involved in the hectic rush of buses pulling in and out of the gate.

Since Zara does groups for a dozen or so agencies, it was amazingly well ordered in spite of the apparent madness. Finally got my group, but we were sharing a bus with a split group. We headed up the road to Machame Gate.

It was Sunday morning, and people all along the road, even in very remote places, were walking to church in the finery. Very interesting.

We finally got to the gate and unloaded, and had to wait in line to check in at the ranger station, including name, age, sex, occupation and passport number. It would be so neat to see this data interpreted.

Very quietly and subtly, our porters loaded up, weighed, balanced their loads, all while we formed our small group of five with one guide Zakriah. It was so lowkey that it was later talking to Zakriah that I got it figured out ;)

The trail started off very wide, like a road, slowly growing narrow and damp. In the rain forest, and increasing humidity, we "pole pole" (pohlee pohlee - meaning slowly) made our way up.