Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sun 19th Sept - Day 6 Last Day! Horombo hut (3720m) to Marangu Gate (1980m)

Early start today - we have about 27k to go to get to Marangu gate - its another absolutely stunning day and we're all up and about and feeling really good
Guess what?

I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro!!!!

How cool is that!

Its amazing what 13 hours of sleep and a big fat breakfast can do to for your perspective on life! :-)

I'm amazed that I've recovered so well - my calves and legs are not sore at all - looks like the steps really did help after all. Still coughing up goo, but I don't care about that now - lets go!

The scenery is beautiful - its lush alpine moorland as we head down hill and catch our last glimpse of Kilimanjaro


Last view of Kili

 We are now on the Marangu route also known as the 'coca cola' route because the trail is well laid out, well maintained and the campsites all have huts with shops where of course you can buy - you guessed it - coca cola! 
After a few hours of having the route to ourselves we start seeing groups heading towards Kili, it amuses us that they're so clean and bright and sparkly and soo naive - just like we were only 2 days previously - now we're in a different space, part of a different club and right about now we're all feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. We look like we've been through hell -  our boots are all scuffed, clothes and packs are totally filthy and covered in dust, our fingernails are black and we're wearing grins as wide as the Cheshire cats. 
As we descend it begins to get hotter and more humid and shortly before lunch we enter into some beautiful cloud forest and suddenly it gets alot cooler and misty, theres wispy curtains of mosses dangling from the dense forest

Lunch is at the Mandara huts - essentially today we are doing 2 days worth of the Marangu route in one go which is why its such a long day.We don't stop long for lunch, I think we're all keen to just get to the end now - the porters want to go home to their families, we want to get back to the hotel for a well earned shower, so when we came across a sign that said 1km to Marangu gate I think we pretty much ran that last bit but it still seemed to be the longest 1km ever!

At Marangu gate we have to sign a register and then we get given our certificates - handily there is a shop at the gate which does laminating and it sells beer which everyone makes a beeline for!
We're not quite sure what is supposed to happen next, at some point we're supposed to give out tips to the porters and guides, but we're not really sure what the protocol is....Vincent isn't terribly forthcoming about what we're supposed to do so we decide that we're going to have our photos taken at the gate with our certificates and then we'll get a group photo of all our porters before handing out the tips. The trouble I somehow lost $120USD and Ian didn't bring any money so we just about had enough to cover all the porters, the cook and Juma and Mike but we had to explain to Vincent that he would get his tip when he came to the hotel to collect the kits bags and equipment.
Vincent also then decided to tell us that we had to give more money to the kitchen helpers than they guys who just carried stuff - well how do we know who did what job?
oh dear, it all started to go a bit pear shaped - Vincent translated that we didn't have any money for the porters, who quite understandably got a bit upset. After much confusion, we eventually just showed everybody the money which helped and then we finally managed to get Vincent to call each porter out 1 by 1 and we handed them each their tips. Ian then said a few words on behalf of all of us then we loaded up the kits bags for the last time and headed back to the hotel, back to normality and the end of what has been a wonderful trip.

1 comment:

  1. Those are some great misty photos of the alpine forest in Kilimanjaro marangu route. Marangu Route Climb up Kilimanjaro