Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb - Private Camp in Arusha National Park - 6,000 ft
Trip Day 1&2 - Climb Day 0
We got off the plane at Kilimanjaro airport after a grueling 27 hours from the time we left my house in Delaware. The flight was uneventful. Both of us retrieved our duffels (whew!) and went out to find our driver. After scanning the crowd I saw two guys waving Mountain Madness signs and immediately recognized one of them from a picture I had seen on the Internet, definitely a good sign. They introduced themselves as Ben, our lead guide, and Xoud our driver. We met two other members of our trip, Glen and Scott, and loaded up into the Range Rovers for the trip to the private camp. The ride in was initially on paved road where we dodged accidents and broken down vehicles and then wound up on a "traditional road" which is code word for a bumpy dirt road. Xoud did an excellent job keeping a relatively smooth ride as we dodged cape buffalo and jack rabbits. Overall it took about 2 hours to get to camp where hot soup and dinner awaited us at about 11PM local time. We met some more of our group at the mess tent, who had all arrived the previous day, and crashed shortly thereafter.
The next day started with learning that we were going to eat extremely well on this trip as breakfast was quite a spread. Today's activities involved meeting the rest of the group, getting a briefing on the climb, doing a gear check and taking a short acclimatization hike. Mostly today was about recovering from our long flights and adjusting to the local time zone. We had a great dinner and discussed what our greatest fear for the climb was. Getting AMS at Crater camp was by far the winner. I showed everyone the Southern Cross after dinner. I was completely mesmerized by how dark the skies were and how ridiculously bright the Milky Way was. If only I had a telescope available! Oh well. We then played some cards where Ed was subjected to losing and being "kicked out" of the Hearts game for the first time ever on a trip. Sleep did not come at all easy this night, I think mostly due to the time change.
|This was our luxurious accommodations at private camp in Arusha National Park||Was I suppose to bring a sleeping bag?|
|The mess tent at private camp||Group shot at private camp|
|My that's a big elephant gun you have there||Group shot is left to right: Scott, Glen, Mark, Norm, Mara, Joanna, Judy, Susan, Dave, Adrianna, Lyle, Leo|
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