Friday, June 17, 2011

day 1

Neither Mom nor I have watches or phones or anything to tell the time.  Mostly, it is nice to not know the time, but this morning, our wake-up call was definitely not the 7 o'clock we requested (as it was about 7 when we got to breakfast).  Slightly "babbelas," we rolled of bed to enjoy one last shower and breakfast before embarking on our journey up Kili.  Both of our guides (Anold and Gift) greeted us at the hotel and we were off!
First stop: the Machame gate to get permits and sign-in.  We met a girl there who actually lives off of Mt. Paran- what a small world!
From there, we left to go to the Umbwe gate to start our route.  The drive about an hour up a dirt path through banana trees and coffee plantations.  The bottom of the car hit the road every so often as we bounced along under a canopy of large green trees.  Besides the farms, the road was lined with playing children and hanging meat. Gross.

Arrived at the gates for some last preparations and weigh-ins before heading up the trail.  We met our porters, all 8 of them at the trailhead.  They started off at the same time carrying 20kg plus their personal bags. They're amazing. "Twende!" "Let's go!"
Some Colobus monkeys greeted us in the rainforest, screeching and leaping over our heads.  It's like a little woodlands fairy wonderland in here- large ferns everywhere.  Hard to imagine that just yesterday we were in that dusty, almost desert plain.

Anold, Mom, me

real women.

 on the right trail!

Had sack lunches from the hotel- with fresh cucumber.  Mom caught me up on all that's happened at home the past couple months- Nate's birthday (and permit, yikes!), Dad's birthday, Nate's graduation, etc. At this point, if I were Nate's age in the summer after 8th grade, I would be in Wyoming on a Moondance trip, probably preparing for our summit bid to the top of the Grand Teton.  I've been thinking about that climb, especially since starting Kili.  I don't know why I felt the need to keep up and race up that mountain as it was probably really stupid.  I did make it, but wow.

day 1- check

Ok, now dinner: Mom and I had a tent to ourselves with a candle for light.  Dinner was cucumber soup, spaghetti, and delicious mango.  I'm not usually a big fan of spaghetti but it was all so tasty- maybe it was also because we were tired and hungry.  Everything tastes better in the woods.  They even made a special vegetarian version for me :)  

candlelit dinner. what?
I feel good so far.  But it is only 1 day down and 6 to go.  I'm still so exhausted and would've gladly skipped dinner to go to bed. So, goodnight! There are howling monkeys outside, so ear plugs are going in.  Going to the bathroom might not be an option tonight- I don't want to be jumped by a monkey.

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