I've got the sun in my eyes

Kilimanjaro

Day 0: The Arrival

Friday, 9 Dec 2011

After an entire night of last minute packing (no sleep), we were finally ready to go. Taxi was waiting at the door and guess what, we were locked in. We couldn’t find our house keys! There was a moment of panic and we found a spare key at the final minute. Phew! We arrived exactly an hour before departure. Luckily there was no problem at all for checking in.

The flight was unexpectedly long. 8 hours of tossing and turning. Barely slept!

We arrived at 8:30pm and Mr Fudge had to queue for an hour to buy his visa. As for me, I enjoyed the rare privilege of coming from a fellow commonwealth state. No visa needed for Malaysians. Yeah!

Next, a big relieve from identifying all our bags from the belt. Imagine if one bag didn’t arrive and the hassle of gathering all your climbing gear all over again – no way!

We were greeted by Duncan, our safari guide. A jolly good fella he is. Helped us lugged our heavy luggages while I scringed in embarrassment for having luggages as if we were gonna travel for months to come.

After everything and everyone was tucked and boarded into our safari jeep, it refuses to start. Duncan just chuckled cooly and said, “No worries, I’ll get someone to help”. We sat in the jeep waited and said simultaneously to each other, Welcome to Africa!

Next minute, I had a small bout of panic as I saw a jeep ramming into our jeep although in slow motion. Ah, it was pushing us slowly. Car to car! Our dear jeep sprang into life and off we went!

With the window down and night breeze on my face, I embraced the real African welcome – smell of savanna and greetings of the crickets. Mmm, bliss!

After an hour of ride and another 10 minutes on the bumpiest road ever, we arrived at our lovely and homey lodge for the night – Ilboro Lodge, Arusha. [singlepic id=161 w=640 h=480 float=center] After checking in and a quick welcome beer (Serengeti and Kilimanjaro, I preferred the former), we tucked in for the night with the full moon shinning, sounds of crickets and endless howling of dogs. Amidst all that, we still slept like babies.

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