The last 24 hours have been draining to say the least – left St Gallen at 12:11 – the Swiss don’t mess around, if the train is set to leave at 12:11 it leaves at 12:11! – to Zurich International Airport via train to catch my 3:40 flight to Mt Kilimanjaro Airport and onto Arusha (Tanzania). The Swiss machine got me through check-in and security within 30 minutes, so basically nothing like Pearson Airport!
My flight on Qatar Airlines placed me on the new Boeing Dreamliner – which was fantastic – it actually has windows you can tint instead of blinds! And all the free alcohol you want – which some of my seat mates took full advantage of. I arrived in Doha (in Qatar) to transfer onto Tanzania, the Qatar Airpot unloads you onto the tarmac, then you are promptly whisked off to the terminal where you undergo questionable screening that leads you into the most extravagant luxury duty free shops in the smallest possible space! The only place to eat was a coffee shop or an A&W with $15 burgers. I stuck with the trail mix I brought and enjoyed a gallon size latter for $7.
It was time to leave and I was once again whisked away into the night on a bus towards my awaiting plane – unfortunately the ride took a wee bit longer than it was supposed to as our bus driver got lost and we circled numerous planes until at last we came across ours. Once we boarded I settled in to a long journey that involved two wonderfully drunk Aussi seat mates and an upright nap.
Once we landed in Tanzania at Kili airport I set off to meet Marcin. The ride involved some hair raising moments of near death misses as we weaved amongst people, bikes, motorcycles, trucks, busses and periodic donkeys and busses. Finally we rambled down a road that even the most hearty of mules would struggle with, to Marcin’s hotel. I was a bit worried as my driver Felix had told me something went wrong on the mountain but did not elaborate any further as he didn’t have anymore info.
But upon arrival Marcin was there waiting and smiling. The trouble he had involved what he thinks was some bad eggs that led to some unfortunate GI issues Unfortunately Marcin was only 1200M from the summit but needed to turn back because of his GI issues – he was quite sick – so he didn’t make the summit.
He is feeling better and we spent today resting and are reading to go on our Safari starting tomorrow. We shall catch up upon our return to civilization!