Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro. What can I say? We stepped through the entrance to the climbing portion of the mountain, took a picture, and left. It was quite saddening, since I had been looking forward to hiking through the little foothills of it. The first day there was just pure confusion as to why we didn’t do what I thought we were going to do.

Once I got over the fact that we weren’t going to be doing anything we had thought, I had a better time. The hotel we stayed at was absolutely beautiful and even the staff was fantastic.

The next morning, we packed up and journeyed out for another hike to who knows where. I had a hard time accepting the fact that nobody would tell me where we were going or that we had to hurry to everywhere we went, because we had a “schedule” to follow.

We climbed up a hill to get a better view of the mountain while it was clear and then took off to the grave of the first Chaga guide. We then did some more hiking and climbed down this sweet (yet terrifyingly enclosed) stairway to the Kilikamoro waterfall, where we (almost) all jumped in. The water was freezing cold, but it was a great decision nonetheless. I wish we could have stayed there longer and just sit by the water, but unfortunately, we still had that schedule to follow. The majority of us took off still wet and dripping and it got a little chilly after that. We did some more hiking, learned some more historical information about the Chaga tribes, and even got permission to climb into a tiny, claustrophobic hole in the ground (which I turned down, lest the whole group deal with me freaking out).

The next thing we did was visit blacksmiths. That. Was. Cool. I wasn’t expecting it to be the least bit exciting and would have rather just done something else, but it was awesome to be able to watch the men actually heat the metal and form it. I even got some pretty sweet spears for my brothers out of it!

Overall, the trip began a little disappointingly, but it got much better the next day and I’m glad we went.

– Amanda

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