day 7 – the final stretch

Friday 8th February 2013

The final stretch and the only day I managed to fall over!  Mission accomplished we finished our breakfast before saying farewell to our support team of porters, cooks and guide with some well-earned tips and some surplus walking gear.  The porters who work the mountain earn relatively little and some are not well equipped for adverse conditions that often occur.  They are an essential part of us being able to climb Kilimanjaro and the local economy.  Giving away a few fleeces and base layers can hopefully make a real difference – see more at these sites:

http://www.kiliporters.org

http://www.tourismconcern.org.uk/ethical-trekking.html

Through the day we wandered down into moorland and eventually forests with the footpaths getting better with every step.  We were walking a circular route back down the Marangu route which was nice as every turn we saw a new sight.  The noises in the forest were amazing and it seemed every few steps we would stop to look for the elusive monkeys, which we were lucky enough to spot several times.  The other thing that really struck me was how warm, wet and heavy the air felt in the lungs after the days of high altitude – it almost burned. After a couple more hours we reached the Marangu gate – it was over.  We patiently waited in the hot sun whilst the permits were checked out and Douglas got us our certificates – fantastic.

After dodging the car-park hawkers we settled into the minibus and the most hair-raising road trip of my life.  On the way up there had been some interesting overtaking and the odd lorry undergoing repair on a blind corner but now with gravity no longer restricting the ageing engine nothing was going to stop us.  That’s right – nothing was going to stop us!  It was frightening and the dashboard was no help as all the warning lights were permanently shining.  Having survived the mountain would we survive the roads.  We did get back to Moshi and back at the hotel enjoyed several bottles of “Kilimanjaro” lager and a curry – sweet!

The rest of the weekend was spent returning the UK and we eventually were reunited with our beloved families on Sunday lunchtime – hugs and kisses all around.

 

 

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back to Marangu HQ
Marangu HQ
the journey back to Moshi
a well earned beer

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