Travel Day(s)

Total travel time is ~27hrs. More getting to/from the first/last airports.

Note: Pictures to accompany post, but current internet cannot handle such things.


Kansas:

I went to bed several hours ago and awoke just a few ago. Man, packing sucks. Maybe I didn’t put it off long enough; maybe that will help. Oh boy, I can’t wait to wear these climbing boots for the next 27 hours.
Atlanta:
My seat partner’s son is in Tanzania right now with the army protecting animals from poachers, so I’ll probably run into him. My friend Lance gave me some oils that are supposed to help keep mosquitoes from drinking my blood. For wrapping paper was the scientific article itself backing up the claims–nice touch. I read as promised. Looks like clove oil is the way to go.

Amsterdam:

That was my longest flight so far ever I think at 7hrs52min. I sure appreciate peeing. Nothing changes your outlook like a seatbelt sign turning off and a ‘vacant’ sign. That and taking advantage of the complimentary anti-oxidants which may have caused the issue in the first place. I took advantage of sitting still to watch the new Independence Day. Seemed like they were trying too hard. To quote the movie, “We had twenty years to prepare and we never stood a chance.” Finding Dory made me laugh though. Then I tried my hand at sleeping. Never has what I do with my legs been the determining factor of whether I can sleep. I need to watch some tutorials on how to sleep on airplanes I guess as it is more intricate than I am capable. At some point, I thought of a good airplane chances should a spontaneous round start up: chances you try to give your trash to passengers walking by. It was funny at the time.

The company with whom I have booked my climb is to pick me up from the airport after my next international flight and take me to my hotel before I start climbing on the 4th. This gives me some time to, you know, sleep. I’d like that. I plan on doing a separate post on the whole mountain thing as more of an instruction manual once the climb is over. Experiences should be used to help others with theirs. That’s how progress happens. Boarding time!

Kilimanjaro International:

Okay, new longest flight at 8 hours. To my left were a few Russians who talked quite a bit and drank vodka. Both activities are equally effective at waking you up. Though I much prefer the loud talking as words take no time to dry.
To my right was a much better traveling companion (nothing like a middle seat). Dianna was from Tanzania
and attended high school in Minnesota. Her mother ran a children’s hospital, orphanage, and school at which Dianna is going to help teach English for a few weeks. She also hates giraffes which is worth pointing out. Why? Long necks, of course, what a silly question. She’s had malaria quite a few times (at least 50) which is often enough for me to think of it as one long malaria. She helped me with my Swahili and showed me some good Tanzania and surrounding area music.
We arrived at 8pm local time which was just after sunset (it’s winter here). Despite this, it was still quite warm and humid. It is Africa after all. It was 9:40 by the time I made it through immigration with my bags. Waiting in line we all got a chance to get to know each other–a couple honeymooners, a healthcare professional who does charity work all over the world, a solar generator builder, and a lady who lost her job so decided to take advantage of the time off. You’d have thought we had made the whole trip together. I found all three of my bags and thankfully my driver from GladysAdventure was still waiting for me. I always enjoy a sign with my name on it at airports; makes me feel important. I had forgotten they drive on the left here so I tried to be the driver when I got in the van. If you want to know what that’s like, it’s like passing someone and forgetting to go back in your lane. Every time I saw headlights triggered me that this was and that we need to get back over. After living in the UK for 6 months I know I’ll never get used to it. I also noticed FM radio goes down into the 70MHz range. After about half an hour we made it Moshi and the Leopard Hotel where I slept completely unobstructed– no armrests, seat-backs, or luggage. It was paradise being completely horizontal.

Leopard Hotel:
This bed is huge and if not a perfect square, is wider than it is long. Uncomfortable travel turns out to be an excellent treatment for jet-lag assuming you arrive at your destination just before bedtime as I did. I woke up at 5am ready to attack the day. Breakfast started at 7 which I patiently waited for. I had a couple slices of eggs cut like a pizza and some pretty amazing coffee. Though I tend to find most coffee not made by me is pretty good. I sat with a nice fellow eating by himself was I thought was a fellow tourist but was from Arusha (TZ) and in town for work to visit the Kili-Fest which is like a giant expo for tour companies and hotels. He showed me where it was on a map and I might go check it out later.