Monday, March 8, 2010

The countdown has begun ...

The countdown has begun … only three more days until the trip of a lifetime! Tons of progress has been made since the last post (clearly – that was months ago), but nothing seemed worthwhile of your reading … so here we are now! Kate/Beth & I are booked and ready to roll. Itinerary as of now:

-Wednesday, March 10: Depart Chicago/Cincinnati --- JFK. Depart JFK at 10:25
-Thursday, March 11: Arrive in London
-Friday, March 12: London
-Saturday, March 13: London. Depart for Nairobi at 9:20
-Sunday, March 14: Arrive in Nairobi. Day in Nairobi.
-Monday, March 15: Depart Nairobi to Moshi (Tanzania)
-Tuesday, March 16: Begin the ascent of Kili.
-Wednesday, March 17: Kili (2)
-Thursday, March 18: Kili (3)
-Friday, March 19: Kili (4)
-Saturday, March 20: Kili (5)
-Sunday, March 21: Kili (6)
-Monday, March 22: Kili (7). Return to Base Camp/Springland Hotels overnight.
-Tuesday, March 23: Lake Manyara National Park Safari
-Wednesday, March 24: Ngorongoro Crater tour
-Thursday, March 25: Jungle Walk/Lake Chalu; Depart for Nairobi via shuttle
-Friday, March 26: Depart Nairobi 12:50/Arrive London.
-Saturday, March 27: Depart London (9:00)/Arrive JFK/Cincinnati/Chicago

A few changes were made due to flight issues, so we’re actually bypassing Zanzibar this time … and spending more time in the Tanzanian countryside. If only we took more time off work (!) and spent a bit of time here, we’d really get to do everything we wanted. If I had to do it again – or if I take the trip again – I’d definitely fly directly to Kilimanjaro (JRO) to cut down on some of the travel time to/from Nairobi … which would allow a lot more flexibility in our schedule.
Planning for the trip? Exciting, tedious and overwhelming at best. Shots all around … and no, not the ones that you typically associate with me:

-Yellow Fever
-Hepatitis A

Medicines? Of course. I’ve got Diamox, which will hopefully prevent me from succumbing to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). I’ve got diarrhea meds, both prescription and over the counter … but don’t worry, I’m supposed to bring a laxative too. Maybe that isn’t mud on the mountain after all …

Malaria meds? Check. Taking them from 2 days before the trip and 30 days after. Had the option of the meds that provoke hallucinations and bypassed them for the ones with a side effect of sun sensitivity. Hello? Have they seen me? I’m a redhead with freckles. Already got that one covered!

QT at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Has anyone spent a lengthy amount of time in the hiking section at Dick’s Sporting Goods? Let me tell you, while it seems like a fun time, I used the term “fun” loosely. I spent about 4 hours there last Saturday, which really allowed me to catch up on the Olympics (yep – still no cable at 120 Garfield Place) and then returned to Dick’s again this Saturday to pick up more of what I didn’t have. The bonus this time was that I didn’t have to spend 4 hours there since I already knew the layout of the land (cut it back to 1.5 this week). Fortunately, I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon scouring Walgreen’s for all the necessities for the trip. By the end of it, I had racked up a significant chunk of money and had 3 full bags of toiletries when I arrived home. I’m a walking pharmacy now … prepared for almost anything!

The Actual Climb!
We begin the actual climb on Tuesday, March 16 and are climbing with Zara Tours:

Beth had friends who have done this climb before and the individuals we have been in contact with seem extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The group has also gotten rave reviews in various Tanzania/Kili books – so we’re looking forward to our trek. Before and after our hike, we’ll be staying at the Springland Hotel in Moshi, which looks like a fantastic place to relax and recover after the grueling 7-day hike:

We'll spend Tuesday afternoon at the hotel for some R&R before leaving on our two day safari:

We’ll return from that and have a free morning on Thursday before departing for Nairobi and our return to the USA.

I’ll update the blog as time and connectivity permits in London, Nairobi and Moshi, but expect an update as soon as we arrive back to camp on the 22nd. I’m looking forward to a fantastic trip and am thankful for everyone’s support and well wishes as we embark. Talk to you all soon!

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