Friday, 31 December 2010

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 2 of 12)

This is the second of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

Tuesday 30 November 2010As soon I boarded a Nairobi-bound bus at Makutano on my way to Moshi, I was caught in a draft from the open bus windows and as I put on a jacket I realized I forgot to pack a heavy coat that is suitable for wearing at lower altitudes during the Kilimanjaro climb. I had a whole year to plan this year’s climb, and I forgot crucial wear! I sent a text message home asking someone to find a way to send the raincoat and another jacket I left behind, and I settled into my seat for a comfortable ride to Nairobi and to Moshi. I wished.

It wasn't comfortable.

After I sent the initial message I realized I also forgot a raincoat that is indispensable for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with the rainy season just about to start. I sent a second text message.

The Nairobi route to Arusha is uneventful, but lengthy. I would like those who object to a better road through the Serengeti as a comfortable alternative and shorter route for residents of Tanzania’s Mara region to try the Nairobi option once in a while and reflect on why Mara residents prefer a better road through the Serengeti.

The route and the outcome: Makutano – Nairobi: approximately 6 hours; transit time at Nairobi: 7 hours; Nairobi – Moshi (9 hours, if the bus does not break down.) Unfortunately, the bus did break down, twice. On reaching the Arusha terminal, there was a delay of more than an hour while the bus underwent some repairs of a burst hydraulic pipe.

We resumed the trip towards Moshi and half an hour before reaching Moshi, the bus broke down again and I reflected on the company’s motto: Connecting East Africa. Not today, I thought. Not today.
The first breakdown at Arusha.
I got off the bus and hopped onto an Arusha – Moshi commuter bus and reached Moshi and checked into a modest clean hotel on the first floor of the building that has a rental shop for mountain climbing gear.

Next: In Moshi

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