Monday, November 25, 2013

Moshi's Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge

Those climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and happen to be in downtown Moshi (the preferred departure and return point for Kilimanjaro climbs) might be interested to visit the Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge.

Nowadays I take every opportunity that places me within striking distance of tasty cakes and a good cup of coffee, although I do not drink coffee . The last time I was in Moshi I walked into the Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge on Chagga Street (facing the main market) and ordered a sizable cup of coffee with Chocolate cake.
The place has a piano and the owners permit those who want to show how well they play the piano to go ahead and enjoy themselves. As I waited for my order, and being the only client at the time, I sat in front of the piano and played one of a handful of songs that I learnt more than 30 years ago.

The Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge also offers 'traditional light meals,' grilled chicken, grilled beef steaks, Schnitzels, and a variety of other dishes that I have not had the opportunity to taste.

The coffee was perfect; the Chocolate cake too sweet for my liking.

Post related to this one:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2011/08/tasty-cakes-poor-service.html

Here's a question: where do you get the best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro? Kenya or Tanzania?

Someone at Jamii Forums recently raised a question: where is the best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro; is it from the Kenyan or the Tanzanian side? This commentator suspects there is a conspiracy by Kenyans to lure tourists to Kenya and thus the reason why such a question has surfaced.

This question should not be asked. The view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the Kenyan side is slightly different from the view from Tanzania. From Tanzania Kibo peak is on the left side while Mawenzi peak is on the right side. From Kenya the two peaks take opposite positions, Kibo on the right and Mawenzi on the left. If anyone prefers the Kenyan view it is outrageous to claim that Tanzania offers the better view.
Kibo peak, seen from Karanga camp on the Lemosho route.
I repeat, again, that this Tanzanian pastime of accusing the Kenyans of getting more out of Mt. Kilimanjaro than Tanzanians while Tanzanians do little more than complain provides no improvement whatsoever to our prosperity.

I believe that the visitor who has traveled from abroad for the purpose of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro cares little whether this World Heritage site is in Kenya, Tanzania, or on Jupiter. The visitor is interested in the mountain and not so much on where Kenya ends and Tanzania begins.

I have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a number of times and the truth is that comparatively few Tanzanians climb this mountain compared to foreigners. On Mt. Kilimanjaro Tanzanians are the visitors while the foreigners can claim to be the hosts because of their large numbers. Recently on the Marangu route I even met a large group of Kenyans heading to the summit.

I would be extremely pleased to see some of these complainants don some mountain gear and join me on the next climb. Afterwards they can speak with authority and conviction on the beauty of Mt. Kilimanjaro instead of complaining and asking awkward questions.

One thing they will learn is that the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are right on the mountain itself. But that is only my opinion.

Riding with Ross Methven: day 17

In the next few posts, I will wrap up my bicycle ride with Ross Methven. He is riding through Zambia now.

Ross Methven is riding a bicycle from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently cycling through Tanzania and I am accompanying him on part of the Tanzanian leg. My Mt. Kilimanjaro guide, Yahoo, says cycling is one of the best training options for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
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Wednesday 21 August 2013
As the number of days we have cycled from Mwanza continues to rise, some of the drivers of the passenger buses that ply between Mwanza and Tanzania's other cities have begun to take notice of us and they hoot at us. I am not surprised they notice us; I stand out distinctly with my "afro" hairstyle and the plastic white rimmed sunglasses that Ross has lent me.
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If you want to donate to Ross' cause please follow this link:
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Yesterday, Ross and I had contemplated giving up our day's-end custom of replenishing our body fluids with a few rounds of a coveted lager. At the end of the day today we concluded that what we had contemplated was irrational; it does not work in practice.

Fitness experts do not recommend alcohol consumption with training because of its adverse effects on the body although some research suggests that moderate alcohol consumption actually provides some health benefits. I can authoritatively state that we consumed moderate amounts otherwise it would have been impossible to cover an average distance of 55 kilometres each day. By the end of the day we had cycled a total of 787.6 kilometres from Butiama.

Finally, at Kintinku, I decided to replace the old front tyre with the new one I bought in Singida and which Ross had strapped behind his bicycle since leaving Iguguno. We decided yesterday that it would be unfortunate if I had a front tyre puncture on the last day (tomorrow) and fail to reach Dodoma while a receiving party was waiting for us.
With one bottle of a coveted lager in one hand, I closely supervise the front tyre change at Kintinku.
Related links:
http://www.rossmethvensbigbikeride.co.uk/
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2013/11/riding-with-ross-methven-day-16.html

Jim Whitney joins the Kilimanjaro Club

The Kilimanjaro Club lists people I know who have scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, including those who join me every year on the annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb and those who join me for my non-charity climbs.
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Cinematographer Jim Whitney was part of the American film crew, with Jim Becket, who took part in my September 2011 climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He carried a video camera and shot most of the footage for the documentary Sons of Africa.

I have profound respect for anyone who has to carry a video camera during a climb and has to rely on only one hand for support through some of the difficult sections of the climb. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is difficult enough even while using two two hiking poles.
On the first day of the climb, a few minutes before we commenced the hike to the first camp, Mti Mkubwa, Jim Whitney (second, left), was ready with his camera in hand. Others are from L-R, Jaffar Idi Amin, Jim Becket, the author/owner of this blog, and assistant guide Ludovick.
Jim Whitney becomes the 14th member of the Kilimanjaro Club. The updated list is:

    No.
    Name
    Nationality
    Age
    Point Reached*
    Summit Date
    1.
    Madaraka Nyerere
    Tanzanian
    48
    Uhuru Peak
    24th August 2008
    2. 
    Le Huyhn
    Vietnamese
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    25th August 2008
    3.
    Markus Geiger
    Swiss
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    2009
    4.
    Gerald Hando
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    6 October 2009
    5.
    Notburga Maskini
    Tanzanian
    49
    Stella Point
    6 October 2009
    6.
    Dmitry
    Russian(?)
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    13 December 2010
    7.
    Jaffar Amin
    Ugandan
    44
    Uhuru Peak
    13 December 2010
    8.
    William Rutta
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    10 December 2010
    9.
    Mary Kalikawe
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    10 December 2010
    1.  
    Steve Kamau
    Kenyan
    25
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Jim Becket
    American
    74
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Andrea Wobmann
    Swiss
    39
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Zulfa Fadhili
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Jim Whitney
    American
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    *A climber is awarded a certificate for reaching one of three elevations: Uhuru Peak (5,895 AMSL), Stella Point (5,745 AMSL), or Gillman's Point (5,685 AMSL).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The exotic flowers of Mt. Kilimanjaro: Protea kilimanjaro

The Protea kilimanjaro is one of many variations, said to be close to 1600 species, of the plant family Proteaceae.

It looks like a unitary flower but is actually a collection of flowers that are densely packed into a bulb that opens up at a certain stage of its maturity.

An 'open' Protea kilimanjaro plant on the Lemosho route of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
While on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro's Marangu route the hiker can view this unique plant.

At maturity the flowers dry up and the lifeless form appears to have been burnt by a bush fire.

I am tired of hearing stories of Tanzanians whining about Kenyan tour operators luring tourists to Kenya while claiming that Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Kenya. I believe Tanzanian tour operators ought to counter these Kenyan operators by their own aggressive marketing campaigns.

I was surprised nevertheless while seeking information on the Protea kilimanjaro that the little information available includes an entry in the Wikipedia which describes the Protea kilimanjaro as found "...in the chaparral zone of Mt. Kenya National Park." Without any mention of Mt. Kilimanjaro? Makes you go: "mmmhhhh."

Just in case it is still not clear: Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Zulfa Fadhili is the latest member of the Kilimanjaro Club

The Kilimanjaro Club lists people I know who have scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, including those who join me every year on the annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb and those who join me for my non-charity climbs.
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Zulfa Fadhili joined me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in September 2011 on the 7-night, 8-day trek on the Lemosho route. She works for Zara Tanzania Adventures, one of the leading Mt. Kilimanjaro outfitters. She reached the summit and takes her place on my Mt. Kilimanjaro roll.
Zulfa Fadhili at the Marangu gate.
The updated list of the Kilimanjaro Club is:
    No.
    Name
    Nationality
    Age
    Point Reached*
    Summit Date
    1.
    Madaraka Nyerere
    Tanzanian
    48
    Uhuru Peak
    24th August 2008
    2. 
    Le Huyhn
    Vietnamese
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    25th August 2008
    3.
    Markus Geiger
    Swiss
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    2009
    4.
    Gerald Hando
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    6 October 2009
    5.
    Notburga Maskini
    Tanzanian
    49
    Stella Point
    6 October 2009
    6.
    Dmitry
    Russian(?)
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    13 December 2010
    7.
    Jaffar Amin
    Ugandan
    44
    Uhuru Peak
    13 December 2010
    8.
    William Rutta
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    10 December 2010
    9.
    Mary Kalikawe
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    10 December 2010
    1.  
    Steve Kamau
    Kenyan
    25
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Jim Becket
    American
    74
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Andrea Wobmann
    Swiss
    39
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Zulfa Fadhili
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    *A climber is awarded a certificate for reaching one of three elevations: Uhuru Peak (5,895 AMSL), Stella Point (5,745 AMSL), or Gillman's Point (5,685 AMSL).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Riding with Ross Methven: day 16

In the next few posts, I will wrap up my bicycle ride with Ross Methven. He is riding through Zambia now.

Ross Methven is riding a bicycle from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently cycling through Tanzania and I am accompanying him on part of the Tanzanian leg. My Mt. Kilimanjaro guide, Yahoo, says cycling is one of the best training options for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
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Tuesday 20 August 2013
In the early morning hours after we began cycling, with a tailwind, we probably cycled the fastest yet on this trip.

But good things rarely last; the wind changed direction - or the road turned against the wind - and during the latter part of the day's cycling we were up against an extremely string head wind.
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If you want to donate to Ross' cause please follow this link:
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Arriving in Manyoni we rode into a sandstorm. 
At the outskirts of Manyoni we took rooms at the New Emirates Hotel. To-date, we had covered some 733.2 kilometres from Butiama.

Related posts:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Riding with Ross Methven: day 15

In the next few posts, I will wrap up my bicycle ride with Ross Methven. He is riding through Zambia now. I now resume my posts from day 15.

Ross Methven is riding a bicycle from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently cycling through Tanzania and I am accompanying him on part of the Tanzanian leg. My Mt. Kilimanjaro guide, Yahoo, says cycling is one of the best training options for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
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Monday 19 August 2013
This was supposed to be a 50 kilometre day, but it stretched out to 67 kilometres. At some point during the day when asking for route advice we were told that Issuna, our intended destination, was 30 kilometres away but our experience had taught us that most of the advice we received was inaccurate and we decided the remaining distance to Issuna was much closer. It was not. Throw in a powerful headwind and no lunch and this became one of our toughest days on the road to Cape Town.
Before midday, Dodoma was only 234 kilometres away.
At Issuna I found Ross seated outside a small shop with a bottle of a coveted lager in one hand. He informed me that Issuna had no guest houses but someone - Edwin - had offered us camping space in front of his oil processing plant. Edwin also made arrangements for our dinner and - if we chose - had offered to make arrangements for us to bathe. We both declined, perhaps because we had to cross a busy road for the wash. More likely, we were just too tired.
In mid-afternoon, we had covered 54 kilometres.
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If you want to donate to Ross' cause please follow this link:
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For the first time on this cycling trip we unpacked our tents and drew a small curious crowd around us as our tents began to take shape.
At Issuna as the moon rose above we set up our tents
I did not have a good night's sleep.

Related posts:
http://www.rossmethvensbigbikeride.co.uk/
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2013/09/riding-with-ross-methven-day-14_2256.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2013/11/riding-with-ross-methven-day-16.html