and other such things with Routes Kilimanjaro
11.07.2010 - 11.07.2010 25 °C
Friday night we went out to this music festival in Arusha..called Fiesta. There were some sweet artists a lot of good African music.. near the end it was mostly hip-hop. It was fun though...and it was our first time being out at night...it's safe if you're with people who know the city..I did not feel scared at all but I know if I was alone it might be a tad frightening. Anyhow...we stayed out entirely too late...mostly because they don't start until entirely too late... we didn't get to the fiesta until about 12am. Given that we had ample time to kill before the show(s) started we went out for dinner at this great little bbq on the street, in Arusha, called Khan's BBQ....they brought us beef/chicken/lamb along with fries and naan-like bread and then you went up to pick out certain sauces and such...it had a bit of a middle eastern flare..it was delish. Then we went to this pub of sorts...the name has since passed my mind (although I don't think I ever knew what it was called...I was more focused on the look of it). We walked into the main room and it was almost like we were in a tent...there were pillows all around and tables were low to the floor... we had a drink or two and there was sheisha as well - it was a very cool place! After that we headed to the festival... SO given that we didn't get there until 12 (as I mentioned above) we stayed out quite late...(about 4am) we had plans to hit up a waterfall hike in Moshi the following morning but when 8:45am rolled around we were both far too tired to have enjoyed ourselves...so we slept and ended up leaving later in the day. It all worked in our favour as we ended up going to Moshi in a land cruiser (versus a Dala Dala) with Leesha and Lau. We met up with the rest of the volunteers and some locals after they had done the waterfall adventure and went out for dinner/watched the world cup play for third/went to fiesta round two in Moshi town. (Additional note: Moshi is significantly hotter than Arusha which was a nice change!) We didn't stay out nearly as late so we could wake up and see the waterfall we had missed the day before...turns our we went to a different waterfall altogether but it was AMAZING! The whole hike there so much happened - we were so glad we missed it the day before... (everything happens for a reason, right?)
The walk started out at the base of Kilimanjaro where we met some local people and drank some banana brew (given to us in a big yellow pail)...I'm not 100% sure how banana brew is made but I presume it is a little something like - mashing banana and letting them sit in the sun until they ferment? It was Sunday so everyone was outside relaxing, listening to music, and enjoying their well-deserved banana brew. We said our goodbyes and started on our hike... along the way we stopped at numerous places. Our first stop was to see the coffee beans ...a local farmer showed us the beans at each stage - it was super cool. I had no idea they were white and I don't remember if I said this already but it's amazing how little you know when you grow up with a million supermarkets at your disposal (it's quite sickening actually). We carried on our route and our guide, Alex, pointed out a Chameleon...he grabbed it from the tree and let us hold it..it was SO COOL! I really would love to own one... her feet were so cool and she felt so crazy walking on our hands...her eyes were also amazing...apparently it only takes them 15seconds to change colour but I'm highly skeptical of this! After taking many a photo we continued on. (btw I am calling the Chameleon a she because Ben says boys have antennae). Our surroundings were so lush and amazing...we walked on some pretty steep ledges but it was hard to gauge how steep and narrow it was because there was shrubbery all around (this was probably better than knowing) although I was not scared at all..there was to much beauty to take in to waste time being fearful.
This little girl joined us for a bit - she was on her way to meet her grandma! She was adorable and in the cutest dress. We ran into some more locals and sat in their place that was just on the side of the mountain...they offered us avocado to welcome us and also some more banana brew... The avocado was amazing! The banana brew... I believe it's perhaps an acquired taste but it was fun just the same! There was some chill African music playing and it was most enjoyable! They had a little girl too and she was soo shy but every now and then she would come peek her head around the wall ...she did come in and we talked to her for a bit (by we I mean...Leesha did, in Swahili) but she was very shy and didn't say much. After saying our Asante Sana's we were on our way. We finally made it to the waterfall and it was amazing. It was very hard to walk up to it though because the ground was wet, muddy and rocky.
As we walked back the sun was in full force and it made everything around us that much more vibrant. It was so peaceful being out there... birds chirping, butterflies flying in and around us, and fresh green scents. When we got back to the village we enjoyed some green bananas with beef and a pork dish for lunch - very tasty! Also, I tried some banana wine which is brewed in Tanzania (it's a bit more refined than the previously mentioned banana brew and actually comes in a bottle).
After lunch we headed to Chemka Natural Springs. The drive there consists of a very desert-esque landscape so one would not assume there was an oasis hidden away in the middle of it...but yes, it is there and it was beautiful. The spring was surrounded by many trees, the water was crystal clear and it was just the right temperature. It was just what we needed after hiking around in the sun. After the swim we took a little walk with a local man who showed us some tomato plants and maise crops. The lighting was amazing and I snapped many a photo, too (but I suppose that's nothing new). While we were walking back from the walk with our guide these two Maasai men were washing their hair/face in this collection of water a ways off and later we saw them walking by. I wish I had taken a photo but I felt it was impolite to do so..so I tried to mental note it. a) I am intrigued by Maasai people so I would love to take a photo no matter what but this particular situation with the lighting was just so perfect. They walked by one in front of the other, the one in the back had a bike and the other a walking stick of sorts...I waved and they waved back and I am not sure I can really explain it but the lighting behind them consisted of a grayish blue sky and the ground was a vibrant yellow and it contrasted so nicely with their Maasai blankets which were deep blue and red ...ahh I wish I had just taken a photo. We are planning out what we are going to be doing as far as Safaris and explorations of Tanzania go and some of them consist of more Maasai culture learning so I will be sure to take some photos so long as they are okay with it!
Anyways I could go on and on and on ...and on...but those are the highlights! And, MARC...if you are reading this I must say thank you, yet again, for putting me in contact with Leesha...it has worked out perfectly! Even more so that her fiance has Routes Kilimanjaro! If anyone is going to Tanzania and wishes to see the place I highly recommend Leesha and Lau!
Kwaheri for now!