Monday, 5 December 2011

The start of the Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb 2011

Early in the morning we assembled for a photo session at Springlands Hotel before embarking on our first day of the Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb organized jointly by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and Zara Tanzania Adventures.
Zainab Ansell, third from left, Zara's proprietor, and her sister Remmy Adam, fourth from left, joined staff and some of the climbers to see off the group of twenty-plus climbers that I was leading on this historic climb to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence.
When we stopped briefly in downtown Moshi, the German film crew of Benjamin Leers, right, and Maurice Hüsni, second from right, joined Aneth Tillya, second from left, and another unidentified climber for a photograph.
The four made a photogenic quartet and attracted the attention of others who took several additional photos.
After we registered our names at the Londrossi Gate of the Kilimanjaro National Park we began the 25 minute drive to the edge of the rain forest where the 4-5 hour trek to the first camp, Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree), begins.

Because of the wet road condition, the minibus dropped us some distance before we reached the drop-off point and we were asked to wait to be picked up by an off road truck described by one American climber as "a truck with attitude", a menacing truck that can tackle the worst road conditions. Others decided to begin the walk before the truck's arrival.
The road conditions were so bad that even "the truck with attitude" had to stop some distance before reaching the end of the road and the beginning of the foot path. It would be at least an entire hour of walking before we reached the normal drop-off point.
Some of the porters began to walk ahead of us. My fourth Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, the first time I had attempted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro twice in a year, was underway.

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