And we’re off, Moshi to Londorossi gate then Mti Mkubwa
An early start, and we were off in the bus for a couple of hours boneshaking ride to Londorossi gate. We’re using the Lemosho route which takes you up through the western cloud forest then east across the Shira plateau where it joins up with the Barafu route then it’s Barranco, Katanga valley and Barafu before the final New Years Eve ascent to Stella point.
Park fees paid at the gate, you need to get zen about waiting and paperwork in Africa, and the first of our high calorie lunches consumed it was back onto the bus and another half hour drive to the Lemosho glades where the foot part of the journey starts. At one point we had to all clamber to one end of the bus to get us over a washout in the road but that challenge surmounted we arrived at the glades. A moment to sort out our equipment, throw on waterproofs and then off for a two hour walk up through the rainy charms of the cloud forest to our first campsite, Mti Mkubwa (Big tree). Weather is cool but humid so after awhile you’re sweltering under your waterproofs, and although pit zips are great, I’m bringing an umbrella next time.
The porter’s had raced ahead of us, so by the time we got to camp they had the mess tent and our two man sleeping tents set up. Which left us with a little bit of time to kill by wandering around and admiring the er forest, as you do. Just before dusk the colobus monkey’s came a calling, looking for easy pickings from the camp, and they weren’t disappointed. Our first night under canvas, and our introduction to Chagga trail cooking, big on quantity, not so much quality apparently. Washbowls with hot water and sorting out the routine of washing, hint a linen travel towel and a pack of baby wipes are invaluable.
Tomorrow we’ll climb up out of the cloud forest onto the Shira plateau and get our first view of Kibo.
Distance: 4.8 km, Altitude gained: 396m