Saturday, 17 September 2011

Day 3: On the mountain

On the morning of the trek our schedule was strict. Have breakfast and bring luggage down before 0830 as that's when we leave the hotel. We all loaded up and set off. We made a few stops. First at MEM then at a couple of butchers. We drove for quite a while, maybe an hour or so, gradually ascending up and up on narrow winding roads. Finally we parked at Marangu gate which is the starting point of the Marangu (cocacola) route.
We were given our water and lunch box for the day ( beef burger with egg, fried chicken, banana and cake ) which looked delicious. We then headed to the registration office where we spent a good hour registering and waiting whilst our guides sorted stuff out.

Finally we set off and immediately headed into a forest track. It was quite level and had some gentle inclines along the way but was amazingly scenic. Mossy trees towered over the man made path and the whole route was easy going. Along the way, we caught sight of some monkeys in the trees jumping from one to the other and then at lunch time a mongoose and raven. We pressed on and finally reached the Mandara hut in the late afternoon.

It was very cosy and our dorm was above the main mess hall. After settling in, we were provided tea and popcorn... I lurve popcorn!
Not long after we had our meal which consisted of cucumber soup followed by roast potatoes cabbage fish and a vegetable broth. It was actually all very nice. We also met our cooks that evening.
We retired to our dorm for the evening and pondered on how to entertain ourselves. But ultimately we tucked in for an early night. Though it wasn't to be as a group of Irish climbers became very merry and had the loudest of sing songs. Adnaan had to clamber down the stairs and kindly request that they keep the noise down. I think they got the message and pack up for the night. And thus so did we. There was quite an orchestra of snoring in the night but some time in the early morning my bladder was the only cause of my disturbance...

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