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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tanzania: Departure and Arrival Days

The day has finally arrived and we are on our way to Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Sunita and I agreed to meet at the Tim Horton's at Toronto's Terminal 1 at 1:00pm yesterday. I waited at the Tim's and when she didn't arrive like she was supposed to, I went to check the arrivals board but her flight was not listed. I checked with an Air Canada agent and she said there were no flights arriving from Edmonton till 2:00pm. I then realised that she was arriving at Terminal 3 with WestJet. She figured out at the same time (while waiting at an unfamiliar Tim's in Terminal 3) that we were at different terminals so we texted each other and I went to T3 to meet her.
 
Shortly after that, Abbi arrived from Calgary followed by Sabena who overnighted in Toronto. We were a bit anxious because Donna F and Donna L were not there. We went through security and started boarding still without Donna and Donna. As we got closer to the gate, they arrived having been slower through security because of a long line up. We greeted each other (this is the first time I was meeting Donna F although I felt like I already knew her from conversations over the years with Sabena).
 
We boarded a very full flight to Amsterdam and were scattered around the plane with Sunita and I in the same 3-person row with one person in between us. We both prefer aisle seats so when we were offered to sit next to each other, we declined.
 
We arrived in Amsterdam about 7:00 am - a bit tired but feeling excited. We found a baby change washroom and used that to freshen up by give ourselves a sponge bath and a change of clothes and brushing our teeth. It felt really good after a night in the plane.
 
We bought some coffee and a croissant and boarded our 10:05 flight to Kilimanjaro.
 
L to R: Abbi, Sandra, Sunita, Donna L, Sabena, Donna F

We arrived in Kilimanjaro at about 8:00 pm and after clearing Customs and Immigration, we were met by Hilda from Shades of Green Safaris. I bought her a bottle of Canadian maple syrup as a small gift for working through our itinerary with us. And then we were off to Moshi for the first of our two nights stay at the Parkview Inn before the climb.
 
By the time we got there, it was after 9:30 and the restaurant on site was closed so Nadir from Mauly Tours who is the subcontractor for the climb part of the itinerary offered to drive us to a local restaurant that was still open at 10:00 pm (this is unusual) and we got some samosas and tea.
 
We went back to the hotel for a good night's sleep but not before I took a cold shower because we couldn't figure out how to switch on the hot water tank in the room (and then needed to wait for 20 minutes for the water to heat up). I was too tired to wait and the cold shower wasn't that bad. We hit the bed about 11:45pm. After two long days of travelling, the bed felt good.
 
Tomorrow is gear rental and final preparations for the big start on Saturday.
 
sandra

 

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