February 12, 2012
I must have been so tired last night because I totally forgot to mention the camp we stayed at last night is located on the slopes of Kilimanjaro – which is just stunning. We bumped around while travelling up the tiny dirt roads and when the truck pulled over we all hopped out expecting to be at camp. We weren’t. The road to the actual camp was too precarious for the truck we were travelling in so we had to carry all our gear down a winding road, up a hill and over a stream to make it to camp. There were some local kids who helped carry the tents which was awesome because it had already taken me two trips to just get my sleeping bag, sleeping mat and gear.
The facilities were fantastic, super clean washrooms and warm showers (always welcome!). The camp provided dinner and it was delicious. The grounds were extremely lush and we pitched our tents on a small overlook. Underneath was with a natural-fed stream and as we fell asleep we could hear it gurgling away.
All proceeds made from this campsite go towards the Kilimanjaro Village Education Project – http://www.kiliproject.org, which is just another reason this camp is so awesome. This morning we got to see what the Kili Project is all about with a guided tour of the area and the work they do.
The Project helps the local villages and focuses on training teachers and providing decent educational opportunities for the local kids. We stopped by a fully stocked library and their new internet centre. We toured through some primary classrooms and our last stop was the local vocational school. They had a woodshop, masonry classroom and arts and crafts (beads and printmaking). The project really focuses on building income generating skills for these kids which in a rural area is super important. At the end of the tour we stopped at a curio shop filled with beautiful items made by the local students.
While on our hike to Project headquarters we got a partially clouded view of Kilimanjaro, which just makes me want to come back and climb it! I’m thinking maybe 2013?
After we finished our tour we got back on the bus and headed to Lushoto and the Usambara Mountains. It took over an hour of driving up the side of the mountain just to make it to camp, which was about 1500 metres above sea level. My tentmate and I decided to upgrade to a room at this camp because we were spending 2 nights and really needed a break from the tents.
Breakfast: bread, cereal, banana, crepes, coffee/tea
Lunch: rice, beef, veggies, beans, spinach
Dinner: pasta, spicy meat sauce, green beans, carrots