20 July 2004
finally left Cape town on my way to Kilimanjaro, after having a nice half
chicken at the airport with the kids and my wife.
am on my Way!!.
at Johannesburg, Uncle Jorge was waiting for me. I had a very good laugh
when we were driving out of the airport, and we were asked to switch the
engine off. This they do to ensure that one has not stolen the car. Yep,
This is Jhb all right!!.
am at the airport and ready to leave. I booked in very early, so I have no
worries. Just had a breakfast and my stomach is doing the butterfly thing,
but it will be ok.
believe I am actually and finally doing it!!
Arrival at Dar es
landed and door opens: whooshhhh!! Heat wave welcome the oven 33Degrees, I
almost lost my wi.....!!.
I got to
the custom officer who was moving very slow and after Ĺ hour I realized
that I had left my sleeping bags on the plane (sudden panic). I ran back
to the tube that we came in and it was closed already and they were towing
the airplane away. In panic I spoke to an officer and explained to him
that I had to get the sleeping bags, as it was all I had to go up
Kilimanjaro with. The officer said no problem, he opened the door of the
extending tube and he started to whistle to the person towing the plane
away, screaming is Swahili. The man smiled and started to tow the plane
back towards the tube. To my relief, they opened the plane; I ran in and
got my bag. This is a land of no problems for anyone and this was the
first taste of it I got. Try to do this stunt anywhere else, you would
probably have to fill forms for Africa in petitions and pass them through
some high-ranking officer for him or her to just say no. Here, it took a
whistle, a good laugh and it was done.
recovered, I proceeded to customs. Slow, Slow, Slow, Super slow process.
Standing in the queue, let my eyes wonder at the beauty of the women
around. Women here are WOW!!!; pitch black, slender and very beautiful.
of the airport I met with a nice guy who was a freelance tour operator
(Norman Shayo) who seems very nice and told me he would try to organize me
a ride to Serengeti.
took me to flamingo restaurant at Dar es Salaam airport where I had a nice
salad and rested waiting for my connecting flight.
is very nice and decent. The owner told me that I could stay as long as I
whished. He has Internet facilities at the restaurant, which I tried to
use with no luck. Nothing worked!!.
for Kilimanjaro airport at 8:00 pm. If you thought the arrival was slow,
the departure was even worse. Nobody seems in any kind of a hurry here;
everything is slow.
way, the owner of the restaurant is also the owner of 3 other shops at the
airport. Wherever you go, there he is. He seems to own the airport (I
would not be surprised).
at Kilimanjaro Airport and all was fine there. Emmanuel (my guide) was
waiting. Very nice guy. He took me to the hotel (mountain inn), which is
45 km from there, in an old battered Suzuki jeep. This gave a very nice
raw first impression to my arrival.
hotel we had supper at 10:30pm and we talked for a long time. I fell
asleep eventually in my room like sleeping beauty, hoping that a princess
would wake me up with a kiss (dream on!!).
woke up late. I had a very small breakfast and took a bus/kombi into moshi.
ride!, 26 people fitted in this bus. A lady had to put half her bum on top
of my leg to fit next to me; everyone was hanging onto each other so I did
same by getting hold of this big womanís love handles!!. She looked at
me and smiled. It was a nice ride. The people here are so natural, simple
In town I
met a guy who I became friends with almost instantly (Rosmin). He took me
for a walking tour around the place. We went especially to the real
places. We went to the market where you can buy just about anything.
Spices from and for Africa. Colorful place full of life and
beautiful people. Elegant women always working hard at something. I saw
many stalls selling mountains of 5 cm long dried fish. This apparently you
cook or steam and eat it with rice. People buy it by the Kilo. The shops
and stalls are of beautiful colors and full of life.
butchery was a shock to my system. It is an open stall with pieces of meat
(raw) hanging from dirty walls, no fridge, no salt, just flies. People
actually buy cuts of meat. The stench of rawness is quite something but
here it is a way of life.
through the back streets of moshi, and passed Swahili street where houses
are made of mud and are about to fall, but people live there.
spirit of Africa is most present in this area.
people are some kind of entrepreneurs and I still have to find a house
without a stall or a person sitting outside selling something.
seems to be a big thing here, as every second shop has a peon outside (on
the streets) with a sewing machine sewing some colorful garment.
wear beautiful African color clothes complemented with a turban in their
We had a
snack at a place where a very nice lady, her two daughters and 2 sons
serve very nice Samoosas. Very cozy place, where she personally attends
her boys had an obsession with cleanness, as he kept on wiping the floor
during the whole duration of our lunch.
I went to
an Internet cafe and what a joke!. Maximum speed of 14400 if youíre
lucky. It took me 45 minutes to write a 1-page email. Apparently all
service providers have only wireless connections to offer, and this makes
them very slow and unreliable. Anyway, most people here do not know of any
faster browsing so they do not complain.
visited the outskirts of town, which is where life really is. Saw no
luxuries; plain simple living. People here have a beautiful spirit and I
enjoyed this from them.
another kombi back to my hotel and now I am resting and eating a tomato,
cucumber and carrot salad, which took me quite sometime to explain to the
is a beautiful place, but most important; with beautiful people.
The market, a colorful
experience Swahili street