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Heather: Return to Tanzania

April 21, 2010

Definitely one of the top 3 of weekends since I’ve been in Kenya. On Saturday morning I headed to Tanzania. Got on my bus at 7 a.m., and the only plan in mind was to get to Moshi, Tanzania. I was going to meet our friend Simon who we met while rafting in Uganda.

I was afraid we would miss each other because my bus was 1.5 hours late and there was no way I could get a hold of him, as he has no phone. So I got off the bus at Moshi, walked around for a few minutes having really no idea where I was, just praying that I would see another whitie. Luckily, he found me after only about 10 minutes. We started to figure out our plans for the weekend; I was really just planning on going along with anything. He met this guy who wanted to help us, but ended up wanting to charge us Tsh 90,000/person (~$75) for one night of going to this local village. Long story short, we ended up paying only Tsh 30,000/person.

We took a dalla-dalla (matatu thing) halfway up this mountain right near Kilimanjaro with Richard, the guy whose family we were going to stay with. We had to walk another 1.5 hours uphill the rest of the way to get to the village. The village we went to was called Metaruni and held the Chagga tribe. That night we walked around meeting his family and seeing what was around. We ate this really good pork along with some salty soup. We also tried some banana beer. Not so good. I was literally chewing my beer because there were chunks of grain in it. Played some checkers and headed back to get some dinner. Dinner was a banana, bean, and yam stew. It was ok.

The next morning we got up early to watch the sunrise. Unfortunately it was just a little too cloudy for this. However, we saw Mt. Kilimanjaro!! Greatest sight ever! Normally you can’t see it during the day because it’s so cloudy, but in the morning and at night you can see it if you’re lucky. Guess I was! We ate some breakfast (roasted peanuts, bread, plantains, homemade coffee, and tea) and headed out for the day. We hiked up to some waterfalls and swam for a bit, then hiked to some other falls and swam some more. The water was SO COLD! It was great hiking, but really tiring. I am rather sore from it. When we got back we grabbed some lunch (beef and banana stew). If you’re wondering about the bananas, they have a ton of banana trees around and they use them to make a ton of different things. I never knew you could do so much with a banana! But it was all really good, especially the stew. After lunch we went to go make some coffee. We ground up the seeds to get the coffee beans out, then roasted the beans, then ground the beans into a fine powder and there was the coffee. Then we hiked about 2 hours down the mountain to catch a ride back into Moshi.

Once in Moshi, we went to a hostel and got some rooms and went to get some dinner. Street food is so amazing! I got rice, bagia (fried dough stuff), cabbage, and tea and Simon got chapati, beans, bagia, and tea and we only paid Tsh 1000 total. That’s like 35 cents per meal. And it was really good too!

The next morning we went to the market to grab some fruit for breakfast. I have never had so much fruit in one sitting. We made a GIGANTIC fruit salad (only Tsh 5500, ~$4.50). I couldn’t even finish it: 5 bananas, 2 oranges, papaya, watermelon, and mango. Delish. We packed our bags for the day and jumped on a dalla-dalla to go to Marangu, a town about 1 hour from Moshi. We went to some caves and then more waterfalls.

Caught my bus in the moning to head back to Mombasa. I took about 8 hours (ugh), but I saw about 30 elephants and 10 giraffes on my way. We passed through Tsavo West National Park on the way. This was one National Park I wanted to get to, but unfortunately never had time. But, at least I can say I passed through it and officially saw some wildlife of the park!

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