Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tanzania part 3 of 5

Ngorongoro safari

Friday – 09/14
Up at 6:00 AM and breakfast at 7 (no run, too dangerous to run in this area around sunrise), off for our safari by 8:00.  It was a long dusty bumpy ride around and won into the Ngorongoro crater.  We were treated to a score of critters in the 100 square miles of terrain.  Among the many animals we saw up close were: giraffe, zebra, hyena, baboon, lion, hippo, wildebeest, jackal, pumba, Thompsons gazelle, water buffalo, bustard, ostrich, and cows.  It was kind of sad when the Maasai tribesman tried to sell us trinkets at the bathroom stop.  We had a nice lunch stop in the park that included a close-up view of a hippo.

We were out of the park by 2:00 Pm and I wrote about 20 postcards on the hot, dusty, and wildly bumpy ride to the Weru Weru lodge.  It felt good to finally get out running again.  Robert and I hit the road for an easy 3 mile run.  After that we had a superb dinner buffet including fired cheese, French fries, chicken, and cheese cake for dessert.  It took me a few hours to re-sort my gear for the “big hike” and then it was time for bed.

Kilimanjaro – 6 day hike

Saturday – 09/15
This was our first day of the six day trek on the Marangu route.  Marangu is the only route where you stay in huts the entire time.  That was the reason I insisted on this route, I did not want to sleep in tents on the ground.  We would be covering 65km (40 miles) and climbing/descending 10,000’.

I was up at 6:00 AM and out with Robert on the same road as before getting in our final run for a bunch of days (no running while climbing Kilimanjaro).  We had a great view of our gaol as sunlight hit the glaciers on the top of the mountain.  By 8:30 AM we were off to the Marangu gate.  It took a good hour to get our permit and get going by 11:30 AM.  The first leg was a 5 mile forested path that climbed 3,000’.  It took us 3:20, including a 30 minute lunch break, to reach our first hut.  We were greeted with bowls of hot water to clean up and then popcorn and tea to snack on.  It was a great day for hiking with temperatures in the 70’s, clear skies, and a steady (slow) pace.  We had dinner of fish and chips (very British).
Robert couldn't fit in the top bunk of the "A" frame, guess who did...

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