Monday 7th January 2019
MAP of the Northern Circuit – Copyright Ultimate Kilimanjaro
Description from African Scenic Safaris about the last day:
We woke up at 5am and started walking around 6am in the dark. It was sooo nice to not be freezing like the night before! Wearing the hiking pant and a T-shirt only was enough !
We walked down on a rocky path, with Mt Meru in the distance. Very quickly, Nesto started walking faster, ahead with the four others while I stayed at the back with Juma for the entire walk down.
It was great to continue walking pole-pole on that last day. I enjoyed stopping and looking at the flowers! And I can now even find the names thanks to Henry Stedman’s book. Fifth Edition. Pages 178 to 181! Here is the Protea Kilimandjarica:
We passed by the Mweka campground around 7.30am where we should have camped if we had had enough energy in the legs to walk all the way to it the previous day.
Here is the Trifolium usambarensis (Thanks Henry Stedman!)
During that descent, it was all about the trees, the branches, the shapes, the huge trunks. The forest was just beautiful.
Some more flowers: Impatiens kilimanjari, Impatiens pseudoviola, Gladiolus watsonides, Seradoxus (Firebally lily), Carduus keniensis.
Twenty minutes before to reach the Mweka Gate, we saw that Blue Monkey on the branch, eating some leaves while a bunch of other Blue monkeys were not too far.
Here is a video of the Blue Monkey:
More photos of the walk until the arrival at Mweka’s gate.
And here we were, 11.10am, end of the 9-day hike. Whoohoo!!!
It started pouring rain just when we arrived at the gate!
We went to a souvenir shop where I bought a CD of the Kilimanjaro songs, but it turned out to be super cliche and really not worth it. Shame they don’t just record the ‘A capella’ voices, without the stupid background cliché music they added on!
Then we drove back, reconnecting with the Tanzanian street life, although the ride was short, not more than 30-40 minutes.
Before to say good-bye, Antipas gave us the Kilimanjaro official certificates stipulating that we made it to the summit! Whoohooo!!!
The first thing we did was to each take a loooong shoooower!!!! 😀
Then we went for a stroll in search of ice-cream but it wasn’t very successful.
So we got back inside and chilled. Annie was very happy to spend some time again cuddling with the puppy dog and investigated online whether she could bring it back to the US. It turns out Qatar Airways will allow you to fly an eagle on the plane in a cage, but not a dog! We also spent a lot of time reconnecting with everyone on What’s App and other media. After 9 days of detox, it was quite nice to be bombarded with all the ‘Happy New Year!’ messages, 7 days later! We also spent some time hand-washing a few clothes. Luckily, a woman was coming to do the washings at the hotel later in the afternoon, poor her, 9 days of stinky dirty clothes of 5 hikers who had had no showers, ooooppps. It was very very hot in Moshi, so we just stayed indoor and killed time.
We also prepared our bags to go on safari…the next day! Mary from African Scenic Safaris came to give us a briefing at 5pm. She herself had an interesting experience about hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro. She had pretended she was fainting because she didn’t want to continue walking but the trick had not worked and they had encouraged her to keep going. Hahahahaha. That’s a funny one!
Next day…off to safari!! 5 days to see all the African animals in the wilderness of Africa, the way we saw them in books when we were kids, some time ago long forgotten! Yeah!! 5 days of sitting in the car for the entire day. Heaven. Our legs were looking forward to that deserved rest!