The hotel before the mountain.
I woke up hearing somebody singing Allah Akbar on the speakers outside. I really hope I have not been transported to Muslim country in the dark and still am in Tanzania by Kilimanjaro. My better half said there are some Muslims here as well.
The breakfast was served outside in the garden. It was ok, but I start to realize that I’m in a country with totally different life standards. I miss coffee – even the instant one. Bus as long there is some caffeine in this brown liquid I’m holding, I’m satisfied.
After the breakfast we decided to take a walk to the near by city, Moshi, that is just 20 minute walk away. We went to the reception to ask witch way we should go, we were offered a shuttle buss and a guide. The lovely lady in the reception almost got hearth attack when we refused the offer politely and insisted that we wanna walk alone. After some persuasion she explained us the way and we were off. As we walked pass the gates and took couple of steps towards the city, guards suddenly ran out of the little gatehouse and started yelling and waiving with hands. In confusion we went back and the guards were very insistent sending us back to the resection. They did not care for our argument that we already have been in the reception and got the directions from there. We had no choice than turn back and get the receptionist coming out with us and explain to the guards that we are some crazy vikings wanting to wonder around in the city on our own. After a lot of discussion back and forth the gates got opened unwillingly again and we were slipped out.
Tanzania is a fascinating place with its small mud-huts and seemingly relaxed atmosphere. All the children we encountered dropped everything they did and yelled: “Hi, how are you” to us. We later learned that if they are close enough, they hope to get money or thing as a gift from the tourist, so that phrase is learned to the children as fast they start talking.
The women were very obviously and openly shocked by my look – thin straight hair and tattoos on an woman are probably not the everyday sight here.
We entered the city via marked. In the city limits the marked consisted of small shacks selling old and used clothes, shoes, bags, locks and plastic bags (yes, even those were used ones). Longer into the city the marked changed to food marked and mostly consisted of fruit and vegetables. Everything, even meat was sold off the ground and if you are germophobe you would probably starve after that sight. But since we have had all our vaccinations done prior, I was confident. Closer to the city center the marked became streets with actual shops (huts with windows and doors) that displayed new and unused items. Furniture was mostly second hand, but probably as expensive as new stuff.
As we walked there for couple of hours, we noticed that we were looked at like we have been from a different planet, and on our 2 hour long walk, we did not encounter any other white people. I wonder where the shuttle buss and guide would have taken us, but I’m so happy that we wondered alone and did experience the real life in Tanzania, not some part of it, somebody seems fit to feed to tourists.
We walked back to hotel and eat lunch, met out mountain guide, drank Good Kilimanjaro beer and relaxed for the rest of the evening. The missing suitcase have arrived to the airport and it will be delivered to our door during the night.
I am so ready to conquer the Kilimanjaro!!