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Sunday 22 Feb 2009
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Day 6 ... Formalities and TIP TIME! Erk!

Day 6 ...  Monkey magic
Day 6 ... Monkey magic

Success! The immense feeling of accomplishment stayed with me from the moment I reached Uhuru Peak until the following morning at High Camp and well into the following week (it only really hit me that I had completed one of the world's hardest mountain climbs after a few days later)! Incredibly satisfying, but I was too exhausted to appreciate it there and then. When originally booking this climb, I assumed it would have been simple enough, but I later learned that only 60% of people who attempt to reach the summit actually make it. Not to mention the number of people who die from hypothermia or brain clots!

Had quite possibly the first proper sleep in 6 days the night before, relieved as I was that we made it, and on time! I'm sure I had a smug grin on all night too.

We left High Camp early enough and trekked on down back into the rain forest, on our way to Mweka Gate.

On the way we even managed to catch a glimpse of a family of rare black and white colobus monkeys in the trees with long white hairy tails flowing in the wind.

Day 6  ... Job well done!
Day 6 ... Job well done!

On arrival at Mweka gate, we marched triumphantly up to the office to receive my Kilimanjaro Uhuru peak certificate which Shanny had to complete for me.

We got a last photo taken together and ventured back to my hotel where the infamous "painful" tipping ceremony could begin. (I say painful as it seems to be the one thing most travellers dread having to face).

To be honest, after all the crap I'd been through and the helpfulness of the guys I was feeling in a mighty generous mood, so I gave the guys a mighty collective tip of 335 bucks (150 for Shanny for his excellent camera work, and for all his help, 75 for Ali for cooking... even if it wasn't the best, 60 and 50 to the porters which is slightly above average).

Afterwards I kinda regretted paying so much in tips as I found I needed the cash (especially in order to tip the safari guys later), but in retrospect I got the climb for a cheap 980 dollars which meant that the total including tip came out around 1,300 bucks which is what some people pay for doing the climb in the first place!

Still, the memories will be priceless... who knows .. maybe Everest is next? Cool

When I got back to the Kindoroko hotel in Moshi I jumped into the shower and had a lovely cold one for about an hour (the room was roasting!). Just what the doc ordered.


Despite feeling like I needed a holiday after the climb, I had already booked a 4 day safari for the next period, so I met up with Simon that night who was going to be my driver for the next few days, plus I was going to be joined by an Estonian couple on the last 3 days.

In retrospect, a few days in Zanzibar would have been just the ticket at this point....

Incidentally I learnt a bunch of Swahili from Shanny while trekking, it's a fairly easy language to master, so I might as well commit it to d'net now:

Jambo - Hello

Karibu - Welcome (also said when dinner is served, to which you reply "Ahsante")

Ahsante (sana) - Thank you (very much)

Mambo - How are you (normal reply is "poa" (cool) .. or "poa kaman matope" (cool like mud) which was Shanny's slant on it)

Jhoto - Hot

Barridi - Cold

Raffiki - Friend

Madji - Water

Samenhani - Sorry/Excuse me

Dafadali - Please

Chakura - Food

Pam bafu - Shite

Mzungu - Whitey (also "Mzarabiya" - Arab / "Mzinde" - Indian, etc, etc)

Kuma (hard) / Senge (soft) - Feck

Seko - Day

Pole pole - Go slowly ("Pole" on it's own means "Sorry")

Hakuna Matata - Relax/No problems (mon)

Twende - Let's go

And the most important one: Cheezy (kaman MDizi) - Crazy (like a banana)

1 Comment for this Travel blog entry

gretta Says:

16 April 2009

That WAS a pretty large tip Peter!

I bless the rains down in Africa

Travel blog by peterforan

Day 3  ... Lookin forward to Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro

Day 3 ... Lookin forward to Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro

With Toto's defining tune ringing in my head, I don khaki pants and venture full-throttle into Africa! Elephants, lions, huge mountains, men with spears intent on stabbing me (probably) and the "Cradle of Humanity" (tm)... 4 weeks ain't gonna be enough!

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    Entrance to Machame town
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    Day 1 ...  Rain!
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    Day 1 ...  Shanny "Sean", the guide
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    Day 1  ... 2 bottles of water for support