Sunday Sept 28th.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
I cannot believe I’m together with Chris again. He hasn’t changed — I have missed his friendship, it’s going to be good to have his wacky sense of humour on this trip (and everyone’s).
Colin is an interesting fellow, I remember taking an immediate liking to him. However, I didn’t think he’d make the Dubai – Dar flight. He was the last to go through security. I am truly flabbergasted that 8 such diverse people from such diverse locations are together on their way to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!
3pm — we arrive in Dar es Salaam. We are met by our driver from Zara (Kuchi) who will drive us to Moshi and Springlands hotel. I cannot believe I am in Africa. We also find out that the drive will take 8 hrs not the 4 that Robin Paschall had insisted. Immediately we decide that starting the climb on Monday would be suicidal. We inform Zara by cell phone on our drive. And what a drive. It is long and cramped but we are revelling in the almost high-school-type camaraderie. This will obviously be a good trip.
First African meal – Highway Restaurant at Segara. I have fish and Ugali — a traditional maize rice substitute. It is very good and… filling.
On the drive, I’m out in front and I doze off for a few minutes ( the others are all sleeping) and I jolt awake to realize that Kuchi has fallen asleep ay the wheel and the van veering to the right. I wake him up and from this point I am determined to stay awake.
At 2am we finally roll into the gated private hotel that is Springlands in Moshi. The moon is a silver sliver and Kili is hidden in dark clouds. Grabbing out rooms we hit the sack. I am exhausted.