Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Its a jungle out there

 After too many beers and a briefing on mountain safety we hit the hay and awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed to face the rigours of the jungle. Beth got off to a great start when her bed collapsed.
 This is in fact the hotel garden, the jungle lay a few kilometres away by bus.
 The five of us became 10, then 30 10 as the porters arrived and then 5 guides and soon we had a whole bus load. Each trekker had to have two porters to carry their gear and provisions, each porter pair then had to have a porter to carry their food and stores, each then had to have a boy to carry their food and so pretty soon there was about 1000 of us to get 10 of us to the top, for more details read the Ascent of Rum Doodle.
 First snag, due to the massive weight the bus broke
 which gave us time to peruse the local grocers. I made the mistake of buying fresh tomatoes and eating them without washing  them, something my digestive system would punish me for for the next 3 days.
 It was all very colourful
 or very dirty, depending on where you looked.
 Soon, read 5 hours, we were in the rain forest
 which was very exciting and curiously silent and totally bug free except for when I went to answer the call of nature off the track and found a wasps nest.
 The trail was steep, but doable and pretty soon
 we were at first camp and feeding nuts to the locals
 and eating a fab veg curry (another digestive mistake)
with the gang in the mess tent before turning in for a long night in a sleeping bag. Armed guards were on hand, not to prevent wild life attacks but to deter bandits from local villages robbing stupid tourists. Advice like if you leave your tent at night carry a big torch as robbers don't so the Rangers wont shoot torch bearers was not exactly reassuring, especially as yours truly forgot and went walkabout at 3 am to find the loo. The silence of the jungle was only broken by Jim Royale's snoring which would give Concorde a run for its money on decibel levels.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Its cold outside

 Quite what it was that inspired yours truly to utter the words "Hey lets climb Kilimanjaro!" in February last year has yet to be ascertained, as does the response "Yes lets!" rather than go away you annoying person, but thats what happened which is why on a cold and snowy Friday the 13th, ideal for international air travel yours truly left the safe haven of Rock HQ for sunnier climes south of the equator.
 Naturally not all adventures get off to a smooth start
 as the flast tyre on Stan proved.
 Spotty the action Berner tried to stow away and had to be evicted.
 After a final farewell pic with my beautiful and oh so patient wife and our boys
 yours truly, along with lil Bef met the other partners in crime at Red Kite HQ, said our goodbyes and headed off to the airport. 30 minutes later we were back again as the Jim Royal lookalike had forgotten his phone.
 Airport found we quenched our pre flight nerves
 and before you could say that was 10 hours well spent were in Nairobi transferring to a flight to KIlimanjaro.
 The terrain changed dramatically
 as did the weather, scorchio.
 A quick bus ride through the local town
 and we found cool beers,
 cool vehicles,
 and took every opportunity to commend ourselves on our physical shape, honed over the previous 11 months.
How big a challenge lies ahead, well Kilimanjaro is this massive lump of rock in the centre of the pic, zoom in its quite something!

And so to bed, the adventure begins tomorrow!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A change of scenery

Only time for two more trips up the Bonsai Mountain until the big assault of Kilimanjaro. Yours truly goes from high excitement to higher anxiety over the next two weeks and the numerous challenges faced. What is certain is that I will be very homesick.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Friends in high places

 Micro goats
high level friends

Monday, 9 January 2017

Reservoir dog!

 This is our eldest Berner Rocky
 helping me
 fix the water supply and hopefully stave off no water because its frozen routine. An Arctic blast is set to arrive Saturday but as I'm in Tanzania yours truly will be worried about other things.
 Obviously what goes up must come down.
But this is one giant leap for a ten year old Berner!

No room!

 You are welcome to sit down,
if you can find a space!

It wasn't me!

Apparently Rocky didn't do this to his bed, a big dog did it and ran away!

Monday, 2 January 2017

Start as you mean to go on

 New year, new sunrise, well actually day 2 as day 1 was pouring with rain
 so yours truly loaded like a pack horse set off up Hergest
 in time for the sunrise and time for the clan to refuel on drool fuel
 from Vaughns pool.
 Naturally yours truly took every opportunity to take arty farty shots
 and several K9's posed
 or photobombed shots
 but the Whetstone with sunlight topping made it without interruption.
 Day dawn turned to beautiful day so the peacocks made use of the sun trap on the roof
 while I toiled away shifting crap from horses bottoms that was all over the stable floor and Spotty re arranged signage
 warning walkers of what lurks at the top of our lane.
Later on I got to play with the apprentice's lego, which has changed some what.