Day 12 - Moivaro Hotel

Thursday, August 30, 2001
Moivaro Hotel,
Arusha, Tanzania
Elevation: 4,000 feet
Number of times I asked the guide "How much longer till this is over?:" 10

Helene and I gave away tens of bags of gear, candy, and other treats as presents to the porters. I think we even gave gifts to porters from the other groups. It became a frenzy because everyone wanted something. Kapanya had to stop everyone from closing in on us. We got a late start because of that. It started drizzling and that made the trail very slippery. I didn't like this part of the trip because the trail was so steep and so overused that the only way to safely descend was to step in pre-existing footholes (see photo below) that were about a foot deep. If you tried to step off the beaten path, you were in for a wipeout. Fred apparently took a big fall. This was Teresa's favorite day because, coming from Seattle, she was in her element. She and Frank stopped to enjoy the views of the hanging fog. Helene also liked this day because there was no sun shining on her face.

Marcee on the way to Mweka Gate 
Larry on the Mweka Trail.  Note the VERY DEEP footholes.

Lunch awaited us at Mweka Gate. We ate and signed out of the park register.

Fred at Mweka Gate (photo courtesy of Fred Yorra)

We got the final bill for Joshua's services. For eight days of work of carrying three people's day gear (Larry ended up using Joshua's services as well,) we were charged $80. We gave him $300 because we were so thrilled to have his help. We jumped into our Jeeps to head to our hotel. The hotel was magnificent. The bellboy showed Helene and I to bungalow 3. Helene got a kick out of the mosquito nets over the beds. We packed up all of our filthy gear and sent it with the bellboy to storage. I had about one minute of hot water for my shower and Helene had only cold water. We joined the others at the main lodge for a drink. Andy mentioned that there were massages available and Helene and I booked ours at once. It was such a pleasure to have an African woman rub my aching legs.

Marcee and Helene on the patio of bungalow 3 at Moivaro Lodge

The entire climbing group met on the veranda for a celebratory dinner. Helene and I had the most amazing vegetable quiche for our entree. Kapanya congratulated us all and told us what a wonderful group we were and then awarded us with certificates proclaiming our achievement. We all basked in the afterglow of our terrific trip.

Dinner at Moivara Lodge

Helene peeking out from under her mosquito net

Helene and I didn't want the day to end. We put on our personal stereos and sang and danced till 2:00 in the morning.