I am sitting in an internet cafe in the town of Moshi (Tanzania), about 40 km from the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Internet is pretty bad here, but at least we found a place to go online. No way to use my own laptop though, and the word wifi does not seem to exist yet in Swahili!
So far everything went pretty smooth. We arrived in Arusha last night after an uneventful flight, and took a small van to Moshi. Here we are staying at a basic (not even airconditioning) but clean hotel, even with its own swimming pool. I woke up at 4:30 AM from the call to prayers at the local mosque, but luckily managed to get back to sleep afterwards.
Breakfast was pretty good (pancakes, eggs, fruit and coffee) and after breakfast we decided to walk to town (a few kilometers). The hotel staff warned us that we had to watch our bags and camera’s (“the people here are bad”), but we did not feel threatened at all. Very friendly people who all greet us with “Jambo”. Just smile back and say Jambo as well!
We decided to walk over the railroad tracks to town (When in Rome…), together with all the locals. It’s not only the quickest way to walk (no potholes and trucks trying to hit you), but you also have the best view as the railroad is slightly elevated. We felt at home right away, because everybody here rides on Phoenix bicycles – Made in Shanghai! Pretty cool.
Tomorrow morning we are off to the foot of the mountain and we should be back by next week Wednesday. Gary, my dad and I look very much forward to the climb. It will be difficult, especially the last two days, but we do this because we like a challenge. Until we’re back I will not have any email or internet access (even GPRS is not working, so I cannot even Twitter), so the next blog post and my pictures will have to wait for at least one week.