Alex on Camel, Egypt
Butchers in Moshi, Tanzania
Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island
Summer Palace, China
Dorota on Brighton Beach

Not Climbing Kilimanjaro Day 0

Not Climbing Kilimanjaro Day 0 - feature photo

Wow. I don’t even know where to start. I’ve only just managed to get my day bag back this evening, after stupidly and hilariously leaving it on the runway next to our little twin prop plane in Nairobi, a few days ago.

I’ve now made two trips back to Moshi airport, after being told my bag would be on the next flight. I’ve now spent 4 hours in a taxi and still haven’t got my bag, however I’ve got a new friend who is loving charging me for my regular trips to the airport. It really is starting to seem like I’m in a new film crossed between Ground Hog Day and the Terminal.

Note to self: Alex next time you’re bags are thrown out of a plane onto a runway, make sure you pick them up. Physically ensuring they both get on the other plane.

Finally my bag arrived 1900 hours last night. Unfortunately the airline can’t deliver it until 1100 tomorrow morning, we start the climb at 0900. Which means another trip back to the airport, my new found friend the taxi driver isn’t working this evening so is unable to take me.

After lots of negotiation with various taxi drivers after our splendid Indian-Italian dinner. Doug kindly offered to keep me company for the next 2 hours. Doug and I jumped into the back of a taxi which seemed to be under the control of underage driver(s), yes the driver had a co pilot. We were expecting to go to the airport directly, there was only literally two roads to get there once out of Moshi, by now I could have practically drove myself there blindfolded. After the driver made a few unnecessary random stops and started pretending to try and speak broken English, (really his English was probably better than mine) was explaining that he didn’t know where to go. He then started making more stops talking to people from the window, I was getting rather angry at this point where I thought I had connected with him and he realised he couldn’t try it on anymore and we seemed to make good progress down a long road. I had no idea where we were now, then he got out and spoke to some people who were randomly loitering down a road in the middle of nowhere, they started laughing and joking. This is where Doug and I thought it would be a good idea to make a run for it, before we ended up being mugged by 20 Africans.

It’s late at night, pitch black and we’re lost and with no water. After following our gut feeling and walking for some time we heard English voices… actually a screem! Following by laughter with hoped these people would be able to help us. As we got closer we realised it was the rest of the guys. They were walking back from an outside disco and Will had just fallen down a 1 meter deep gutter in the side of the road. I don’t think either of us had felt this good. It’s still amazing we can drive around for about 35 minutes and only be around 3 miles from where we started. On looking back I still feel we were getting set up to be mugged.

Spoke to the guys at the hotel, who managed to convince my friend the taxi driver to take me. Finally got to the airport and was told after getting to customs that they were shut. They shut 2 minutes ago. I wanted to scream! They were still fucking in there, I could see them, I’ve spent about £100 on bloody taxis, on the verge of being mugged, and all this to get equipment needed for a charity climb I was starting in 10 hours! Worried about being deported by the oncoming security I agreed that yes I would come back at 5am to get my bag. After speaking to my newly acquired friend he couldn’t take me again until 0630 the next morning to which I was worried would cause another issue with me being 2 hours late. I arrived back to the hotel at 1215 and was so annoyed I couldn’t sleep. Great no sleep.

Arrived at the airport at 0715 and they were shut… fantastic! Customs open at 0500, but the actual airport is only open when flights are in operation. This meant the airport wasn’t due to open until 1000. After picking up a small amount of Swahili, thanks to my now 8 hours of lessons in the taxi, managed to amuse a young lady who worked at the airport and took me around the back of the airport and somehow managed to convince the military police to let me through with her. Several x-ray scans and being padded down a few times we were finally through. After wondering around the side of a hanger which housed the carcass of an airplane crash, I decided for once I wouldn’t tell David Coats on the flight home. The fact that we landed on two wheels and in a plane where the lights kept turning on and off, probably scared him enough already. (David is scared of flying and I didn’t fancy doing having to do his work, if he decided to get a cruise home)

After being left on my own, wondering around the airport anonymously. I managed to find the customs room. Success! After a 45 minute wait I got my bag back. Morri, my now private chauffeur actually looked sad. He would probably never see me again. I arrived back to the hotel where the overgrown stretched Landcruiser’s were being loaded up with everyone’s equipment. I had made it back in time, and with minutes to spare i packed all of my needed equipment into my bag and left the rest with the hotel to look after.

Bring on Kilimanjaro!