I was thrilled, I slept until 6:30am without waking! My first full nights sleep since leaving home.
We packed up our bags and Livingston, our guides and porters (16 in total) were waiting for us on the bus. We boarded, with greetings of Jambo and we were off. Kilimanjaro here we come.
The drive to the Machame gate was close to 2 hours. We then had to wait while all of the food, tents, kitchen supplies and our bags were divided and weighed for each porter. Kilimanjaro parks are very strict and each porter is not allowed to carry more than 20 kilos. If there is too much weight, an additional porter is hired. I am so happy to see these regulations in place to stop greedy operators from taking advantage.
Another rule on Kilimanjaro is that no hiker is allowed on the mountain without Tanzanian guides and porter – this protects the industry. Park fees are very expensive however do include rescue service which is good to hear.
Finally at 1:00pm we are ready to leave. The porters are long gone, we had to wait for the banking system to come back up to get our passes.
We start the well defined trail through beautiful tropical forest. It is a gradual incline however at the 7km mark it seems forever. We took several breaks and as we stared so late it got very dark and headlamps were needed. We were very pleased to be in camp and were escorted to our tents. We were given glorious hot water to wash up and were then served a fabulous meal of homemade soup, chicken, spinach and roasted potatoes. All of this from a small cooker – amazing!
Once dinner was finished it was literally minutes before we headed for our tents and I know I was snug in my sleeping bag fast asleep by 9:30pm.