Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tanzania: Moshi, Tloma Lodge

This was supposed to be the day of our decent from Kilimanjaro but because we came down early, we had to wait for Donna and Donna who made it to Uhuru Peak and Abbi who made it to Gilman's Point which is about 200 metres lower than Uhuru Peak. They then had to  descend to Horombo Huts last night.
We heard that Donna and Donna had no difficulty but Abbi was unwell and required a fair bit of assistance from several porters who helped him get to the top. Because he was still unwell, two of them basically supported him under each arm and screed him down to Kibo Hut. We got this news second hand from Nadir who was in contact with Godfrey, Honest and John. This information was confirmed by Honest and John when they arrived at the hotel.
For me, Sunita and Sabena, it was a long day of sitting around until what we thought would be 1:00 or 2:00pm till the other group came back to the Parkview Inn but because Abbi was sick, he took more than 3 additional hours to descend from Horombo Huts to the Marangu Gate. That, of course, meant that we left Moshi close to 5:30pm and arrived in Arusha at nearly 7:00pm. And we still had another 3 hours to get to Karatu for the night.
We met Hilda from Shades of Green Safaris who we booked our entire trip with. So far, the service has been exceptional so when I was presented with a bill of USD $744 for two nights stay at the Parkview Inn, I was beyond shocked and surprised. There was no itemization of what the charges were for - just the amount. She gave me with a smile but after looking at it, there was no smile on my face. I am not sure what could cost that much but the rooms at the Parkview Inn are about $75 per night and the bill for the food the 3 of us ate for the last two days added up to $130 (the hotel staff gave us the bill which we were arranging to pay through Hilda).
I left Arusha feeling disturbed at the cost but planned to enjoy the safari part of the trip before returning to Arusha to ask for an itemized expense list so I could pay for the services we received.
We spent another 3 hours driving to Karatu on some very dusty roads (lots of detours over dirt roads because of construction). Dinner was served at about 10:30pm but by that time, everyone was extremely tired so we each had a bowl of soup and barely anything else to eat and we retired to our semi-private chalets which even at night looked lovely. It was unfortunate that we were didn't arrive earlier so we could enjoy it. 
 Inside our chalet

Bathroom in chalet
We were glad to have a nice hot shower and hit our beds which looked very comfortable.  By 11:45pm, we could no longer keep our eyes open so conversation came to an abrupt end.

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