It was strange inputting the latitude and longitude to X-Journal for my current position – it has been a long time since I was in either the southern or the eastern hemisphere. Yesterday we arrived in Arusha, our jumping-off point for hiking up Kilimanjaro, at 3.3’S, 36.6’E.
We have spent today exploring the town of Arusha and acclimatising, and tomorrow we set off. It will take us 5 or 6 days to get to the summit. On the last day we will set off at midnight to reach the summit (hopefully) around dawn – after that the clouds roll in and obscure the views.
I don’t know Africa at all well, but in some ways Arusha seems familiar. It reminds me of some towns in Peru – where life is lived at the side of the road rather than indoors, there are people everywhere, everything is a little bit ramshackle but more or less works, and people have time to smile and say hello. And try to sell you stuff.
From tomorrow we will be out in the wilds, so I won’t have internet access unless Scott (our leader) has the software to allow me to use his satellite phone to do updates, as I did from the Atlantic. But don’t worry if you don’t hear from me – I’m in safe hands with Scott, and hopefully I will be writing again in about a week to describe a successful ascent. God willing!