I've got the sun in my eyes

Kilimanjaro, Travel

Day 10: Mweka Gate (Stage 7)

Monday, 19 Dec 2011

Distance: 9.1 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
Altitude reached: 1633 m

Oooh our last day! After breakfast, we were presented with a farewell performance by the crews (which suddenly swelled in numbers!). Maybe new guys who brought in the fresh chicken we had for dinner the night before. And it was super delicious!

Anyway, I had read it somewhere that this is quite a common practice (to present more crews) for the tips collection. As we couldn’t recognize who was there before and after, we didn’t make any fuss. The whole group was just for the two of us!

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The walk home was MAGICAL. It was through a cloud forest and giant heather forest. It felt like there would be gnomes chilling around a mushroom; elves and pixies peeping at us and fairies flying between the trees. We saw some Colobus monkeys though!

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Just before arriving, we saw some children working along the way. Chopping woods, I think. I gave them some chocolates that I still had which they shyly but happily accepted.

At Mweka Gate, we had to sign the last registration book and noted our arrival time at Uhuru’s Peak. We were then proudly presented with the certificate of achievement.

Our 4×4 vehicle from Zara Tours was waiting to transport us back to our hotel with dripping shower which seems luxurious after 7 days in wilderness. First thing I did? Yes, the much needed shower! No, actually I ate lunch first now that I recalled :)

Then we had some beers in the garden and settled the tipping matters with our guide. The tips were horrendously expensive. And still there were some dissatisfaction expressed but I guess, it was part of the negotiation game. All in all, it was a really expensive trip! Well worth it but I do hope that a big part of the money we paid gets to the pockets, homes and families of the porters. But a small part of me doubt so :(

We invited the guides and porters to join us for a celebratory dinner that evening. Our guide didn’t turn up (maybe he was not happy with the tip) but Charlemagne’s guide, John did join us. We went to a nice Italian place and then to a deserted club (just us in there with a sleeping bar tender under the bar!) where we drank vodkas and danced our heads off till 3am! It was the perfect finale!

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