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Lemagrut climb and the bumpy road to Arusha

Days eleven and twelve - Arusha, Tanzania

sunny 28 °C

Day 11, 7 February 2011

Climbing Mt Lemagrut.

It was a later start today at 9:00. We headed up to the headquarters to pick up the rangers. They were short of rangers so when we got to the base of the mountain, a masai warrior was asked to join us (he had a spear, a small wooden staff and a big knife).


The trek started on a beaten track and along the way we ran into one of the leaders who had been spiritually inducted which meant that he carried with him a staff that apparently when it is pointed towards someone in anger, they will die. Not a person you want to annoy.

After that we hit a gentle slope across a thick grassland. there is an expression used - ‘Poly-poly’ which means slowly, slowly which describes the nice slow steady walking a pace that should be used when going up altitude. we maintained a steady pace but had rest stops along the way

The masai warrior identified lion foot print so we stayed close for while.

When we broke cover we spread out, similarities to the movie ‘’sound of music’’ were made, luckily no singing was heard.

We soon found out that the Swahilli word for 'lets go' is 'twendy' - one that is easy to remember at least!

Then we hit a ridge and saw some baboons and a giselle. Some requests were made to the ranger for some lunch as he was carrying the Kalashnikov machine gun, but alas no bbq today.

We hit another tree line which meant bush bashing. There is fine line between fun and bloody hard work, this crossed it. What made it all the more hurtful was the fact that all the travellers were wearing the latest in hiking technology and the masai warrior was wearing bits of old tyre strapped to his feet (that he’d had for five years).

Finally at the top of the peak and we had some lunch, and may be a bit of nap for some.



The scene was very nice (very ‘zen’ as Jack would say).

We set off down hill which took about half the time. Once again comments about the masia warrior wearing tyre rubber vs technology and rates of speed were mentioned.

The walk down was relatively uneventful. Along a track we met young masai sheep/cow herder who was only 5 going to retrieve his father’s herd. He scored big time by agreeing to have his photo taken and then all the spare biscuits given to him.

We also passed some elders taking some young leaders up to practice for an initiation ceremony for induction of ‘leadership’. Apparently they have to suffocate a goat and then drain the blood and drink it. Seems a bit rough.

We made it back to the cars which were at the village and school was just finishing. Many little people decided the tourists were unusual and needed to be inspected. The prefects kept them in line with very long thin sticks traveling at great speed towards legs that were not moving fast enough in the right directions.

Wendy took her life into her own hands and tried to give some biscuits out, in the process creating mayhem, more prefects had to attend to this gathering. Then multiple photos were taken and the images shown to children.


We had a rough ride to lodge that was composed of tents strung up inside shelters. Wendy thought that the idea of hot/ cold showers and flushing toilets made great addition to the traditional camping setup. It was a beautiful setting, made better by all of our washing!


We had a nice meal that started by having drinks around a camp fire and dinner was in a candle lit dinning room. The finale was retiring to the lounge hut and having last drinks, tea or coffee before going to bed.

We heard a few rumbles in the night – apparently there were a few elephants bundling around the tents.

Day 12, 8 February 2011

It was another late start and back on another rough road for an ‘african massage’, and then finally bitumen (with lots of speed bumps).

We stopped off a look out over a ravine and a huge salt lake. I think this was more for rest stop as many travellers were suffering various travel sickness and needed to re hydrate.

WE were told we were going to traditional village to see traditional arts and crafts but instead we were dropped off at tourist stall that sold artifacts and paintings, at least we could actually see the artists were out the back painting.

What followed can only be described as controlled capitalist chaos. As soon as we started walking down the street toward the town, we were surrounded by multiple young boys trying to sell us necklaces and trinkets. Despite all polite refusals the buggers would run to get ahead and try again, believing you may have forgotten them. The once divided the tour group travellers suddenly regrouped for safety.

These local vendors are persistent business men to say the least.

Back into the truck and after a quick stop for lunch at another tourist trap we headed to Arusha and the hotel. Washing and repacking the standing orders in preparation for the mt Meru climb tomorrow.

we may be out of contact for while.

Posted by ourlife 11:21 Archived in Tanzania Tagged mountains

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