Mount Kilimanjaro

Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
Trip End Dec 20, 2005

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I truly believe that the saying "Hakuna Matata" has
many meanings.  The literal translation is "no
worries" may remember the song from the Lion King
(stop singing it!).  However, I've learned that it
instead means many worries and many problems.  I
organized to take a bus to Mount Kilimanjaro from
Arusha.  I was told "Hakuna Matata".  Well, I get on
the bus and once we start moving I'm told that my
ticket is not valid even though someone checked it
before I got on.  I ended up fighting with the
conductor which was interesting because I was speaking
English and he was speaking Swahili.  The good news
was that the man sitting next to me spoke English and
came to my defense, as did many of the people sitting
around me (once they had the story translated).  I
finally win my battle only to find out that yet again
I have to pay a luggage fee.  So the battle raged.
Luckily I managed to not only get to my destination
(kind of sketchy at times) but also not pay any
additional fees. 

The bus only went to Moshi so I had to take the
minibus the remainder of the way to Marangu, a village
on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.  I actually really
started to like the minibus at this point because the
price is always the price.  I asked if they went into
Marangu.  They, of course, said "yes, hakuna matata".
Well, the minibus didn't go into Marangu.  I had to
get off at what I later found out was the bottom of
the mountain.  The hostel was about a 45 minute walk
up the mountain (remember that I'm carrying my
backpack that has everything in it for my trip - so
it's not light!). 

After I dropped my backpack in my room, I started to
hike.  Unfortunately, the top of Mt. Kili was covered
by a large cloud but I still managed to see lots along
the path and meet lots of villagers.  I decided to get
up early the next day to catch the sunrise (and
because the top of Mt. Kili is most likely to be
visible in the morning).  It was true, it was
spectacular!  I went back to the hostel for breakfast
before starting off on a personal guided hike.  This
was incredible!  My guide took me all through the
lower slopes of Kili.  The heat was almost unbearable
but I kept on going which was good because we ended up
at an amazing waterfall.  I took a dip in the
was freezing cold (who would have guessed that glacier
water would be freezing?)!

I took the minibus back to Moshi (where my hotel room
had a perfect view of Mt. Kili) that afternoon and
caught a bus back to Dar es Salaam the next day.
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