Arusha Tanzania 2006 Day 24 - Kilimanjaro
We drove to Mount Kilimanjaro via Moshi today. The trip took about two and half hours each way, so the day was pretty much consumed with driving. The road to Moshi from Arusha is one of the nicest I've seen in the country so far, although I'm sure the roads are much nicer in Dar es Salaam. The whole way we saw only clouds over the mountain...it didn't show its top at all. We're told that days and days can pass without seeing it, and then one day it'll just show itself, so it's a crapshoot. We had only this day free, so we just went for it.
Foreigners (Mzungu) have to pay US$35 a head to get even to the base camp, and we weren't that interested, so instead we found a local who'd take us to a "secret" viewing spot for 10,000TSH (about US$8.30) and we figured we'd give it a try. Certainly it could have been BS or a trap but we numbered six with 3 decent sized men so we took the chance. He had no car, so he got in the back of ours and we headed a few kilometers (way) off the beaten path over some of the worst roads I've ever seen, to the middle of his village. He then said to walk like three minutes off to one side and we started to get concerned it was some kind of trick. My brother-in-law paid a kid to watch the car and we went off. We saw a very nice waterfall from a great angle and had a nice side adventure, but didn't see the mountain as it was all overcast and clouds. The whole day had been gray since early morning.
We headed back, slightly bummed, towards Arusha as it started to get towards dusk and someone in the car turned around at some point and announced "oh my gawd" and we pulled the car right over and took this picture with my Casio Z750. It was a fine cap to a fine day, and a nice story as we move towards the end of the whole trip next week. (At that point I'll start the new year with more technical posts if I have any readers of this blog left!)