My Kilimanjaro Adventure Day 8 is the last day on the Mountain! The group walks from Mweka Camp to the Mweka Gate, a trek of about 6 miles (10km). According to the itinerary this should take approximately 3-4 hours. Then it is back to the Kibo Hotel for much needed relaxation (and showers).
Missed any of the previous day’s adventures? Go back here:
Today the routine was a little different from normal! Me and Dave were awoken by singing coming from the camp of another group. Not long after the porters brought us water, so we washed and headed to the communal tent for breakfast.
Today I barely ate any of the rough porridge, I really couldn’t stomach it! But there was still plenty of sausages, eggs and toast!
Then it was time to give out the tips. Well, we give the pile of money to Faraja and announce what everyone is getting, Faraja then makes sure everyone gets what we said. We had to tell Faraja that it’ll be a little difficult due to the three currencies, but he said it was fine.
Gemma was happy to announce the amounts to go to everyone, so we let her. It was a little awkward. There was no reaction from the Porters or Personal Porters. But the clapping began as we said what the Cooks and Waiters would get and the Summiting Porter got a huge round of applause and I even saw one of the porters clap him on the back. Tim, Inno and Faraja got a round of applause too. I think we may have under tipped the Porters and Personal Porters and grossly over tipped the Summiting Porter and the Guides. Oh well, we literally had no idea. But they seemed happy enough.
A Small Celebration
After tipping, all the porters and guides that had helped us performed the song we’d kept hearing to us. I think it’s a little tradition, every group had the song performed to them!
They performed it twice and the second time they got us to join in. They encouraged us to ‘dance’. As we were ‘singing and dancing’ each porter and guide came round to shake hands with each member of the group.
It was great fun, even if it did feel a little weird at first!
The Last Stretch
All too soon it was time to pack up and shoulder our packs for the last time. We headed off through the rainforest, on our last walk on the mountain.
It was a short walk (comparatively) and the day was beautiful. It felt very relaxed and the descent wasn’t steep. I was a little sad that it was all over and didn’t want to rush this final walk. There were some brilliant views of the summit through the trees and overall it was an enjoyable walk.
A Perfect Day
All of a sudden we came upon another group, which had stopped with their cameras out. Faraja shouted to their leader in Swahili, who replied. Faraja then told us that there were monkeys just by that group! So we had to proceed quietly and slowly if we wanted to see them!
I was so happy! I’d wanted to see monkeys on this trip, but since it was the last day I’d resigned myself to not seeing them. There were two species, a blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) and a colobus monkey of some kind.
The colobus monkey had a baby with her. She was trying to make her way through the canopy, but the blue monkey was in her way. There was a bit of a drama between them and they became very noisy! She did eventually make it past, but the colobus was not happy! It seemed like we watched them for ages, but it must have only been a short time!
The End Of The Mountain
After a few hours of walking, the path became more of a road. Not long after we reached the Mweka gate. This was the end of the path. It was all over. We signed out of the national park and went to sit down.
After a few minutes Faraja came over with something in his hands. Certificates. I didn’t realise you get certificates. Funny thing though, there are 3 options as to how far you got and you have to select how far you went yourself! So you could easily lie! After giving us the certificates he lead us over to a table for our final meal by the cook. He cooked us some very lovely soup for lunch. After eating it was time to get on the bus.
As we sat on the bus and waited (the porters were getting on too, so that they could get home), there was a little drama outside the bus. Some of the porters were argueing with Faraja. I have no idea what they were saying but it was definitely heated.
When Faraja came on we asked him what was wrong. It was the fact that our tips were in three currencies. He would normally give them the tips here, but it would mean people getting different amounts, so he needed to change it. The porters were worried as to when they would get the money. We felt quite bad about this, but if only we’d have known beforehand what currency was best!
I don’t remember much of the drive. It seemed to be over quickly and we were soon back at Kibo Hotel. Faraja came in with us to get back some of the stuff we’d borrowed and to say goodbye. I had the horrible feeling of it all coming to an end (which obviously it was). After Faraja left, we got our valuables out of the safe and all decided to meet for dinner that night.
We went up to our rooms for some much needed rest and a shower. This time we figured the shower out and actually had hot water – the cold tap was labeled red and the hot tap blue! No wonder we couldn’t get hot water last time, just trying the wrong tap!
Dave definitely got his appetite back here. When we went to buy snacks on the way to Machame gate, we had bought some banana chips with chili. We hadn’t touched them at all, due to there always being plenty of food! When I came out of the shower he’d pretty much eaten the entire pack!
We Can’t Sit Still
After showering me and Dave tried to have a bit of a rest. But it wasn’t long before we decided we had to go out. We couldn’t just relax when there was still plenty of time in the day! So we headed out to find something to do.
We decided to head into the village again and have a proper look around. We spent a few hours wandering around the market – it was much bigger than I’d thought! Looks can be deceiving! There were loads of food stalls, coffee, rugs, shawls. It was bustling and loads of stall vendors were shouting over to us, trying to show their wears.
It was getting close to the time we’d said we’d meet for dinner, so we headed back to the hotel. We waited in the bar area and soon Gemma, Paul and Jo had joined us. We got a drink and chatted about our experience, swapping contact details and promising to keep in touch.
One of the staff then told us the dining room was open and we could go in. The food was obviously a meat stew and rice, but knowing it would be the last time we had it here made me a little sad. We had a great conversation with the waiter and he was surprised at how much Swahili we had learnt (although it wasn’t much, but we had also learnt how to say ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’).
We stayed up chatting in the bar for quite a few hours after dinner. We seemed to be the only ones in the hotel. A small shop opened near the bar and we all had a look.
Our flights were all in the afternoon the next day and there was some interesting things nearby, so we said we’d do something in the morning. We arranged to meet for breakfast and one by one, headed off to bed.
Find out what we did the next morning – go to the Final Day