Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nairobi (Kenya) To Moshi (Tanzania)

Out of the five of us who had a phone with an alarm, only one woke us up in time, although being woken up to Bootylicious by Destiny's Child lost it’s charm after three weeks. The rest had all reset to completely random times ranging from 6pm to 3am. We all agreed we could do with more sleep but it was better than none at all, which was on yesterday's menu.

Breakfast was some variant of egg along with some fresh toast, which little did we know would become quite the luxury. The whole group was ready and packed up to leave at the scheduled time of 7:30am but we were getting out first taste of "African time" where you use the given time as an approximate time, but if you are not ready by then that's okay, things can wait! I think I could slip far too easily into this way of timing as there is nothing worse than a good old British rush to get somewhere on time.

African Traffic Jam
An hour later we bundled into our combvee and I made the mistake of sitting at the back, but I had made the unwittingly clever choice of choosing  a sports bra that morning. The drive to the border took us through Kenya to the border town of Namanga where we stopped at a Kenyan service station which was different but charming and probably better than some in the UK. Border control was quite simple now as forms and fingerprint scans were becoming second nature. Tanzania instantly looked like any child’s image of Africa, thanks to the Lion King, but there was also a fair share of areas that looked like the adults view of Africa.

Roadside Tanzania

Our First Glimpse of Kilimanjaro
About 7 hours into our drive at the end of the longest celebrity association game ever, we had our first sighting of the snow covered peak of Kilimanjaro itself and considering most of us thought it was a cloud, it’s needless to say the height was daunting. After compulsory group photos we finished the final hour journey to Moshi which was our base for our time in Tanzania, more specifically Midlands Lodge. The rooms were split up rather bizarrely with most people in twos but another two singles and a triplet. Emma, Kyra and I went in the triplet and we had really hit the jackpot as we were given a huge room with our own balcony and about an hour after settling in the clouds had cleared and we saw a wonderful view of Kilimanjaro just sitting there teasing us.

Being a tourist on our balcony
We had our first dinner at the hotel which consisted of more meat and rice but the watermelon and Kilimanjaro branded water spiced things up a bit. The hotel owner came over during dinner and told us any stories he knew relating to the UK, including the Queen’s stay in Kenya where she arrived a princess and left about to be sworn in as Queen and the time when Will and Kate came to Tanzania they had Tusker beer and the beer’s popularity spiked so much bars started refilling Tusker bottles and replacing stickers with Tusker in order to sell more beer, entrepreneurship at it’s best. Back in our room we stayed up until 2am just being hyper and then crashing to sombre deep chats, which probably wasn’t the best plan considering our amount of sleep was going to drop dramatically over the next few days.

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